Emanuel: Chicago bald eagles are something to celebrate

March 15, 2012

Michell Eloy

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the search continues for a new outdoor shooting range location for the Chicago Police Department after bald eagles nested near the original site.

The police department announced this week it was abandoning the long-planned range after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed the eagles presence.

Emanuel endorsed the outdoor firing range earlier this year, saying the range and the natural areas surrounding it could coexist.

But the nesting eagles have changed his mind.

"I don't think anybody five years ago, let alone when I was growing up, thought that Chicago would be home to a bald eagle population. That's something to celebrate," said Emanuel.

Eagles are no longer on the endangered species list, but they're still protected by strict federal laws, including the Federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

The mayor said the city will find a new place for the police department to do firearms training.