BIG RAPIDS — Mike Bomay is a local Department of Natural Resources conservation officer who is asking the public for some necessary assistance.

“I would like to encourage anyone about information on a bald eagle death to contact our all-poaching line,” he said. “They can call it or text it at 1-800-292-7800. What we’re doing is asking for citizens assistance in this investigation into a death of a bald eagle in Mecosta County.

“On Thursday, March 1, I was contacted by a local farmer on 20 Mile Road near Grant Center in Grant Township. A mature bald eagle was discovered hanging from a tree by a farmer. The bird was lodged in the limbs of a tree near the roadway. We recovered the bird from the tree and discovered it had been shot.”

The eagle was sent to be examined by the Michigan State University veterinary diagnostic laboratory in East Lansing.

“The lab results will confirm the cause of death,” Bomay said. “It will provide evidence that will be critical to the investigation. Bald eagles are a majestic bird and a protected species. It’s important that we solve this case, find the violators and hold them accountable. Cooperation is huge in this one. It makes a huge difference in this type of investigation. We need the people’s support to help me to find out who did this. We encourage them to report to that all-poaching line.

“There is reward money available provided we get an arrest and conviction. There’s also been a lot of private citizens input. I believe there will be a fund going into various sportsman groups in the community that they’ll raise money in addition to the reward money. The monetary factor is set up for someone to come forward and give us the information we need. We’re not going to give up on this one. There’s a lot of public outcry to catch the people who were involved in this. We want to follow up on any lead that’s possible right now.”