December 11, 2015
Reward Offered in Bird Poaching Case in Neptune Beach, Florida
The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of pelicans and gulls on Neptune Beach, Fla.
The Case: During the Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 26 to 29, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received reports of dead birds on Neptune Beach. When officials arrived at the scene, they found several dead pelicans and gulls, and found that many of the birds were too decomposed for the officials to determine their cause of death. Under the Migratory Bird Act of 1918, it is illegal to take or attempt to take pelicans or gulls. The FWC needs your help to find whoever is responsible for the death of these birds.
Poaching: Getting the serious attention of prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of poaching of animals is an essential step in protecting wildlife. Officials estimate that nationwide, tens of millions of animals are poached annually. Only 1 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.
Kate MacFall, Florida state director for The HSUS, said, “Sea birds and other migratory birds already face countless threats today, including wind turbines, power lines, communications towers and oil spills. Intentionally killing one is a serious crime under federal law. We are grateful for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s determination to find those responsible.”
Marla Wilson, acting executive director for the Trust, added that, “These birds were found dead near shell casings. A pelican and two sea gulls from the site are recovering from gunshot wounds. Whoever shot these innocent birds should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Investigators: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission area supervisor, Capt. Biagio Angiuli is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 1-888-404-3922, email tip@MyFWC.com or report it online at www.MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert.
Resources: The HSUS and The Trust work with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspected poachers. Other services include assistance with internet wildlife trafficking investigations, donation of robotic decoys and forensic equipment, funds to support wildlife K-9 programs, outreach to prosecutors to encourage vigorous prosecution of poachers and legislative work to strengthen penalties for poaching.
Media Contact: Vincenza Previte: 240-551-9092; firstname.lastname@example.org