January 27, 2009
Reward Offered In Wisconsin Duck Killing Case
The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society of the United States Wildlife Land Trust are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for using snowmobiles to kill almost an entire flock of ducks on the Rock River in Fort Atkinson, Wis. The HSUS offer is in addition to an existing reward of $2,000 offered by the Jefferson County Snowmobile Alliance.
News reports give the following account: On the night of Friday, Jan. 23, a man reported seeing 30 dead mallards in Rock River, below the Main Street Bridge. The next night police saw 32 more dead ducks on the ice just to the north of the other group, bringing the total of ducks killed to 62. Three injured ducks were rescued by authorities and transported to a wildlife rehabilitation center in Oconomowoc. Authorities believe that snowmobilers hit the ducks while traveling at high speeds and possibly skimming over open water.
"The community response to this incident has been excellent so far, and hopefully the additional reward money provided by The HSUS will encourage a citizen to come forward with the information needed to charge those responsible for killing these ducks," said Lt. Jeff Davis with the Fort Atkinson Police Department.
"This brutal case illustrates an escalating problem of thrill-killings in Wisconsin and across the country," said Andrew Page, The HSUS' director of the wildlife abuse campaign. "The HSUS applauds the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Fort Atkinson authorities for rescuing the surviving ducks and investigating this incident."
This is the third incident in Wisconsin this month involving snowmobilers slaughtering wildlife. Two weeks ago, a snowmobiler in Fond Du Lac County turned himself in for running over and killing more than 50 ducks. Earlier in the month, three men in Waupaca County were charged with killing five deer using snowmobiles.
Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.
Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poachers are caught. Poachers kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Law Enforcement is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Fort Atkinson Police Department at 920-563-7777.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.
Since its founding in 1993, the Wildlife Land Trust has worked with private landowners to create 99 permanent wildlife sanctuaries where recreational and commercial hunting and trapping will always be prohibited. In addition, the Wildlife Land Trust works in collaboration with a variety of partners to protect many other vulnerable lands to benefit wildlife. Proud of its affiliation with The Humane Society of the United States, the Wildlife Land Trust joins in campaigns to protect wildlife from cruel and indefensible practices such as poaching, steel-jawed leghold traps, Internet hunting and canned shoots. — On the web at wildlifelandtrust.org.