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MAGGIE VALLEY, NC (AP) — State and federal wildlife authorities are investigating the shooting death of a young bald eagle in Haywood County.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission officials said Thursday they are offering a $2,500 reward for help finding the eagle’s killer.

Investigators say the bird likely died not long before its carcass was discovered May 4 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. Bullet fragments were found in the eagle.

Authorities said the immature bald eagle lacked the white head and tail feathers often seen in adults of the species.

Bald eagles are protected by federal wildlife statutes. Anyone convicted of killing one can get up to a year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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