The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally shooting a protected red-tailed hawk in Auburn, Massachusetts.

The case: News reports give the following account: On Oct. 8, 2018 an Auburn animal control officer received a report of a juvenile red-tailed hawk found with an injured right wing in a residential neighborhood near Bryn Mawr Avenue and Prospect Parkway in Auburn. The bird was examined at Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, where the bird was found to have multiple fractures and compromised blood supply to the wing, necessitating humane euthanasia.

Poaching is a violation of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Killing a red-tailed hawk is punishable by a fine up to $15,000 and/or 6 months in prison. Poaching—the illegal take of wildlife—is a widespread problem in the United States, with wildlife officials estimating that poachers kill as many animals as legal hunters.

“This disturbing incident highlights the urgent need for the passage of S. 2248, a bill to enter Massachusetts into a nationwide law enforcement network called the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, and to strengthen outdated penalties for hunting violations in the Commonwealth,” said Stephanie Harris, Massachusetts and Rhode Island state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “Wildlife violators threaten the welfare and conservation of native species important to our ecosystems and economy, and steal from lawful fishing businesses, recreational sportsmen and women, and wildlife watchers.”

“As a department, we are always looking to work with and educate members of our community regarding any animal related issues or concerns they may be having. In the case of this young red-tailed hawk, someone made the decision to act on their own and shot a federally protected animal. Their actions led to this hawk’s unnecessary pain and suffering and we want people to know that this will not be tolerated in our community,” said Aimee Contois, animal control officer with the town of Auburn.

The investigators: Auburn Animal Control is working in conjunction with the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate this case. Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact Animal Control Officer Aimee Contois at 508-832-7703 or send an email.

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