(CNN) – Investigators in Arkansas are offering a $5,000 reward after someone shot and killed a bald eagle.
Jimmy Craig found the bird dead on a road in Cherry Vallen, Arkansas last week while he was working at a hunting lodge nearby.
“I was up here, painting the ceilings, and I just happened to look out at the front there and there was a big bird laying out there and I just walked up to the window,” Craig recalled. “I thought it was a goose to begin with because there are so many geese around here and it turned out to be a bald eagle. And I could tell it had been shot.”
He said a game warden determined it had died from a gunshot wound.
The bird was taken to a veterinary clinic in Wynne, Arkansas, then to a wildlife forensics laboratory for additional testing.
Although there are video cameras at the lodge, Arkansas Game and Fish would not say whether there is video of the bird being shot.
Authorities say whoever is responsible could face federal charges and up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
“We take these things very seriously. Although they are not considered endangered species anymore, they are still federally protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,” said Randy Zellers with Arkansas Game and Fish.