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March 8, 2012

Reward Offered for Bald Eagle Shooting in Nowata County, Oklahoma

Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally shooting a bald eagle in Nowata County, Okla. The HSUS and HSWLT reward adds to an existing $500 from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Operation Game Thief program and $500 from The Tulsa Zoo and the Tulsa Audubon Society.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, a game warden found an injured bald eagle two miles north and one mile east of Lenapah. The bird was transported to the Wild Heart Ranch Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. Staff there determined that the eagle’s injury was a week old. The eagle was then transported to the Tulsa Zoo where veterinarians were forced to euthanize the eagle after x-rays demonstrated that a gunshot wound had permanently destroyed his wing.

“This senseless shooting is a serious crime and an affront to our national symbol,” said Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for their work to find those responsible for this tragedy.”

Shooting an eagle is a violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act as well as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Poaching:

•    It is estimated that only 1 to 5 percent of poached animals are discovered by law enforcement.
•    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 Investigators:

Anyone with information regarding the shooting of this eagle should call the Operation Game Thief Tip Line at 1-800-522-8039.

The HSUS and HSWLT work to curb poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information.

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

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