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Reward offered in Maryland deaths of 13 bald eagles

By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Feb. 23, 2016 at 7:41 AM

FEDERALSBURG, Md., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Federal agencies and non-profit groups offered a $10,000 reward for information about the mysterious deaths of 13 bald eagles discovered on a Maryland farm.

A man searching for shed deer antlers Saturday found four dead eagles on a farm in Federalsburg, Md., and Maryland Natural Resouces Police discovered nine more in the nearby Idylwild Natural Area.

The animals showed no sign of trauma; Candy Thomson, spokeswoman of the Maryland Natural Resources police, theorized the eagles died after eating poisoned rodents.

It remains unclear if laws were broken in the eagles' deaths, said Catherine Hibbard of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to a resolution of the case. The Phoenix Wildlife Center Inc., a local wildlife rehabilitation center for raptors, songbirds and small mammals, has offered $2,500, as have federal wildlife authorities.

Bald eagles are protected by law, though are no longer considered an endangered species.

The bodies of the dead birds were shipped to an Oregon forensic lab for analysis.

Maryland Natural Resources Police seek the public's help and asks anyone with information to call 410-260-8888 or 800-635-6124, as does the U.S. Wildlife Service office of Law Enforcement at 410-228-2476.

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