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March 5, 2010

Reward Offered in Case of Injured Golden Eagle in Utah

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally plucking an injured golden eagle's tail feathers in Sevier County, Utah, possibly inflicting permanent damage to the bird.

The Case:

According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, on the weekend of Feb. 27, a golden eagle was hit by a car, and the bird's tail feathers were subsequently plucked out with pliers. The eagle's wounds, which include cuts, bumps and bruises, indicate that the feathers were plucked soon after the bird was hit. The eagle was found on Highway 50, just west of Salina in Sevier County. The bird is currently in the care of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation in Cedar City, Utah.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Lt. Scott Dalebout advised that the agency is actively investigating the case in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

"The individual or individuals responsible for this callous act have an appalling disregard for both golden eagles and the laws in place to protect this iconic species," said Kelly Peterson, Western regional director for The HSUS. "The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for their tireless work to find those responsible for this serious crime."

The person or persons responsible face up to a year in prison and fines of up to $100,000. Golden eagles are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Poaching:

  • Wildlife officials estimate that for every wild animal killed legally — tens of millions of animals per year — another is killed illegally.
  • Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poachers are caught.
  • Poachers injure or kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways.
  • The HSUS works with state wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $2,500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.

The Investigators:

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Help Stop Poaching Hotline at 1-800-662-DEER (3337).

The HSUS works to stop wildlife abuse across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/wildlifeabuse for more information.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. 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 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states and seven foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.

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