KUNA, Idaho — Two men were are facing federal charges after investigators say they shot a golden eagle inside a conservation area earlier this year.
Wyatt Noe and Colten Ferdinand were formally charged Thursday with killing a golden eagle without permission and killing a migratory bird without permission. Both charges are misdemeanors.
According to agents with the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, Noe and Ferdinand killed the eagle inside the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area south of Kuna on April 10. Officials stressed that the killing was not accidental, writing that the two men shot at the bird "knowingly or with wanton disregard for the consequences of their actions."
Investigators have not said whether the eagle's carcass was taken from the scene, or left behind to rot.
Both bald eagles and golden eagles are federally protected and native to Idaho. Although their exact numbers are not known, the U.S. Forest Service estimates that there are about 1,000 to 2,500 golden eagles in Idaho.
If convicted, the men could face up to a year and a half in jail and up to $20,000 in fines. Noe and Ferdinand are set for arraignment on Aug. 13.
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