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March 16, 2012

Rewards Offered for Information in Illinois Bald Eagle Shootings

Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust have joined to offer a combined reward of $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for two recent bald eagle shootings  in Southeastern Illinois. The reward – $2,500 for each shooting – are  in addition to an existing $1,000 reward per crime from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, on Feb. 5, conservation police officers received a report that an injured mature bald eagle was discovered in Louisville, Clay County along the Little Wabash River. X-rays revealed that the bird had been shot. The eagle is being treated at a wildlife rehabilitation center.

On Feb. 24, a dead mature bald eagle was discovered in Richland County. X-rays revealed that bird had also been shot.

“These senseless and appalling shootings led two eagles to needlessly suffer and those responsible for this affront to our national symbol must be brought to justice,” said Kristen Strawbridge, Illinois state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States thanks the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police for working tirelessly to bring wildlife violators to justice.” 

Investigators ask that anyone with information about this case contact the Illinois Target Poacher Hotline at 1-877-236-7529 or any local IDNR Conservation Police officer, county sheriff’s office, or the Illinois State Police. Callers may remain anonymous. 

Shooting an eagle is a violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Penalties for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act can include up to one year in jail and a $100,000 fine.

 Poaching:

  • Wildlife officials estimate that nationwide, tens of millions of animals are poached annually.
  • It is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poached animals come to the attention of 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 HSUS and HSWLT work with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $2,500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.

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

Media Contact: Anna West, awest@humanesociety.org, 301-258-1518

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