The deliberate shooting of a protected golden eagle in the East Bay has state investigators asking for the public's help in finding the person responsible.
The incident occurred Aug. 21 along the Pittsburg-Antioch Highway, officials said.
Wildlife workers at Walnut Creek's Lindsay Wildlife Hospital were shocked when X-rays showed a pellet lodged in the bird's wing after it had been rescued.
"The eagle was in rough shape," veterinarian Aireo Shipman said. "At first we thought it was hit by a car because of how bad the wing was."
The eagle's wing was shattered in two places, Shipman said.
The state Fish and Wildlife Department said it won't know for weeks if she can return to the wild.
"It’s going to take a really long time before she’s completely healed, and we can see if she’s well enough to be released into the wild," veterinarian Allison Daugherty said.
Investigators said anyone caught harming or killing a protected species such as the golden eagle faces felony charges.
"Something like this, somebody has to pick up a gun, point it at an eagle and shoot it," Shipman said. "That is mind-boggling to me."