GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. --
A Gaines Township man has been accused of shooting a bald eagle near his home in southwest Genesee County.
James Allen, 65, was charged with shooting an endangered species and reckless discharge of a firearm, Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton said in a news release.
Both counts are misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
The male bird was spotted Feb. 13 near Ray and Van Vleet roads by a resident who then called the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. It was captured on Feb. 17 near the Argentine-Gaines township border.
A medical examination determined the eagle had suffered gunshot wounds, and it was treated for its injuries.
Officials said the bird was taken to a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center for further treatment. They said the bird is doing "relatively well."
Bald eagles first received federal protection in 1940 and then in the state of Michigan in 1954. They were removed from the federal endangered species list in 2007 but are still protected by state and federal laws.
Leyton said a DNRE investigation led them to Nelson based on police evidence.
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