Texas teen charged with shooting and killing bald eagle

In Harris County, Texas, a 17-year-old teenager is out on bail after allegedly shooting and killing a bald eagle. On Wednesday, Orlando David Delgado faced charges for hunting without the landowner’s consent after shooting a bald eagle to death Tuesday in the Woodland Oaks neighborhood.

According to Click2Houston,  authorities stated a witness spotted three males standing near the base of a tree where an American bald eagle had nested for five years. One of the men carried a rifle. Several shots were fired, and then the men left in a white pickup truck, but not before plucking a feather from the body of the bird. The witness identified Orlando David Delgado as the shooter – the teen allegedly admitted to authorities he shot the eagle with a high-powered Gamo pellet rifle.

Residents in the area are heartbroken; they had been watching the eagle for over five years nesting in the same place with her mate. The birds were affectionately named Steve and Mary. Because of Delgado’s age, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declined to prosecute, even though killing a bald eagle is a federal crime.  Game warden H.R. Volschenk of Texas Parks and Wildlife said Delgado would be charged with hunting without a landowner’s consent, a class A misdemeanor. Why anyone would shoot such a magnificent bird symbolizing America is unknown, but truly shameful.

(Photo of suspect and bald eagle screenshot via Click2Houston)

Rest in peace.

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