CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Officials with the Missouri Department of Conservation are asking the public for help.
They are investigating after a red-tailed hawk was found dead with its feet cut off in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Authorities believe the hawk had been shot.
Experts said red-tailed hawks and all birds of prey are a protected species and that killing them can cause harm to the environment.
Bruce Henry, a biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said killing these animals can disrupt the Eco-system.
"People should not kill red tail hawks and other raptor species because they play such a vital role in the food chain," said Henry. "They protect other game species like bobwhite quail and wild turkeys from the effects of high populations of small mammals."
If you have information about the poaching incident or any other wildlife violation, report them to the game thief hotline at 1-800-392-1111.