2 golden eagles and 1 bald eagle stolen from Santa Barbara Zoo

Santa Barbara, CA

April 4, 2000

The unknown thief cut a hole in a fence at the zoo and cut the lock on the eagles’ cages.  Police found blood and shell casings inside the enclosures.

Police believe the thief stole the eagles to sell their feathers and body parts on the black market.

The 3 birds were unable to fly.  The female golden eagle was blind from cataracts and one of the male golden eagle’s wings had been shot off in the wild.

George the bald eagle had lived at the zoo since 1986 and also lost a wing to a gunshot wound.

From the blood in the cages, the zookeepers believe the eagles are dead.

The thief, if caught, faces state crimes ranging from trespassing to grand theft.

Possessing eagle feathers and parts also are federal crimes punishable by up to 6 months in prison.  Bald eagles are an endangered species, and anyone convicted of possessing bald eagle feathers or parts also faces up to 1 year in jail and a $50,000 fine.

American Indians are allowed, by permit, to use eagle feathers and parts for ceremonies but the parts are parceled out from a federal repository in Denver where the eagle carcasses are kept.


CNN News