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June 3, 2010

Reward Offered in Possible Sea Turtle Poaching in North Carolina

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 the suspected illegal killing of a sea turtle in North Carolina. This reward adds to an existing reward of $7,500.

The Case:

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on May 14, a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle was found dead at North Topsail Beach in North Carolina. It is suspected that the sea turtle was killed illegally.

"It is truly appalling that anyone could harm this highly endangered species, and The Humane Society of the United States sincerely hopes that anyone with information about this suspected poaching will come forward," said Kimberly Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. "We applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their diligent efforts to solve poaching crimes."

The Kemp's Ridley sea turtle is protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. The maximum criminal penalties for the unlawful taking of this sea turtle are one year imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.  

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. Wildlife officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
  • The HSUS works with state and federal 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Sandra Allred at (919) 856-4786 or NOAA Special Agent Greg Byrd at (252) 216-8710.

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.

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

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, including 129 acres in North Carolina, 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.

 Follow the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust on Twitter.

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