A bald eagle is pictured in the wild. Reuters

Several bald eagles were poisoned in Maryland earlier this year, and investigators want to know why.

Fox News reports the events occurred due to a speculated deliberate effort to poison “nuisance animals” such as raccoons or foxes. However, wildlife officials are offering up to $10,000 for further information. Bald eagles are a federally protected species, and the reward is being offered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"It is suspected that these events are related as a result of unknown persons placing baits laced with carbofuran, one of the most toxic carbamate pesticides, in fields, along woods lines and even directly into fox dens," the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said about the investigation.

“Eagles probably are not the primary target of the poisoning,” officials added. “However, Furadan is so toxic that the Eagles are secondarily poisoned after feeding on the poisoned primary target.” Carbofuran is an extremely toxic carbamate pesticide which is particularly toxic to birds.

Six of the Eagles are thought to have died on March 1. The seventh Eagle died on April 3. Two other Eagles were sickened and are now in stable condition. One great horned owl was also killed from the illegal poisonous substance.