NORFOLK, Va. - An expert explained to News 3 why the rules are so strict when it comes to bald eagles and why a local woman is in the center of a criminal investigation.
If you are going to care for bald eagles and other wildlife you must follow strict state laws.
State Wildlife officials said a Norfolk woman didn't follow protocol and is now not allowed to care for them.
Pearl Beamer used to rehabilitate wildlife, until her license was suspended in late July.
She said she helped over 400 animals alone this year and has over 20 years of experience
Earlier this week, she told us she has filed an appeal.
Pearl Beamer said, “We did nothing wrong.”
People who rehabilitate wildlife are required by law to report each time they take in or release a bald eagle and carcasses must be sent to a specific location.
News 3 spoke to an expert at the Virginia Living Museum about the strict rules regarding bald eagles.
George Mathews Jr. with Virginia Living Museum said, “It's a way of providing information to the state to make sure they know who's rehabbing what.”
Wildlife officials said in the last year and a half Beamer allegedly violated the reporting rules seven times.
They said there are two dead bald eagles that are missing and a living one that's unaccounted for.
The expert explains why the rules are so strict when it comes to these birds.
“When I was a kid there wasn't bald eagles in this area at all. Now they've gone from federally endangered to threaten, still protected but you can see them throughout the Chesapeake Bay area they made a great comeback because of changes and rules and regulations,” said Mathews.
It total there were three bald eagles, four baby owls and two red tail hawks were taken from Beamer's home, according to the Wildlife Center of Virginia which is the place that is now caring for them.
No charges have been filed and Pearl said she's cooperating with the investigation and has filed an appeal.