Tree holding bald eagle nest cut down

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – State and federal wildlife officials are investigating after a tree that was home to a family of bald eagles was chopped down.

The tree was at the abandoned golf course on Palm Tree Boulevard.

Cecilia Cutcher lives near the golf course and when she heard the tree was removed, she was horrified.

“I hate to see something that has made its home kicked out of its house. They’re homeless now,” Cutcher told WINK News.

A photo of the tree while it was still standing shows an eagle sitting in the nest. Now only a stump remains, and wildlife officials want to know who’s responsible.

“If we do determine it was an active nest and it was removed knowingly and illegally, then there probably will be federal charges pending,” said Officer Stuart Spoede with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

According to a city spokesperson, the eagles abandoned the tree in 2009 and made a new home in a nearby cell tower, but that nest is gone too.

The date the photo was taken is unknown at this time, but Spoede says residents reported seeing a pair of eaglets in the tree as recently as this year. So far the tree appears to be the only one on the property that was removed.

“I don’t want to speculate on the reason without knowing for sure, but it is a detriment to development to have an eagle nest on the property,” said Spoede.

According to the Lee County Property Appraiser website, the land is owned by Minnesota-based Ryan Companies US Inc. We called their corporate office Wednesday morning, but have not heard back as of 6:30pm Wednesday.

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