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Big Increase in Fines for Killing Eagles

SUMMIT HILL — It’s going to cost a lot more money if you illegally kill a bald or golden eagle in Pennsylvania. This week, the Pennsylvania Game Com...
carb eagles

SUMMIT HILL -- It's going to cost a lot more money if you illegally kill a bald or golden eagle in Pennsylvania.

This week, the Pennsylvania Game Commission increased the fine, hoping to stop the killing altogether.

Currently, if you kill a bald or golden eagle in Pennsylvania, it will cost you about $200. That fine is now going up to $2,500.

"People shouldn't hurt the bird that represents our country."

Earlier this year, a man from Lehighton was charged with killing a bald eagle near the Carbon/Schuylkill County line. He pleaded guilty, but with this new fine he would have to pay a lot more money.

"If someone is going to knowingly shoot an adult bald eagle -- and there's no excuse, you can't misidentify something like that -- there probably isn't any other way to reason with those people other than through the wallet," said Susan Gallagher, Carbon County Environmental Education Center.

The Carbon County Environmental Education Center helps rehab the birds injured from illegal hunting or other incidents.

"It's certainly not uncommon, unfortunately, to see raptors admitted with gunshot wounds."

Centers like this one in Carbon County hope that extra fine money can go back to places that help the birds get back into the wild after they're injured.

"You have to really plan ahead and make sure you have the resources in place to care for the birds and that takes money, too."

Ed Kanuss of Jim Thorpe says he used to hunt all the time, but he would never even think of killing an eagle. He says the fine should be even more money.

"I think it should be $5,000."

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says this new rule will be enforced in the upcoming months.

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