Two Golden Eaglets Killed One Wounded
Friday, June 22 2007 @ 01:10 AM EDT
Contributed by: Anonymous
Two golden eagles found killed in Iron County nest
Third eaglet is found injured at the bottom of a 100-foot-deep pit
CEDAR CITY - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are offering up to $3,500 in reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for the shooting of two golden eaglets in Iron County.
The birds were found Thursday at a historic eagle nest site north of the Iron County Firing Range near the Three Peaks Recreation Area.
Two eaglets, within a week or 10 days of being able to fly, were killed at the nest site. A third eaglet managed to escape the poachers and was recovered at the bottom of an adjacent pit approximately 100 feet deep. This male eaglet is being treated for its injuries and will be in rehabilitation for some time. A preliminary examination of the two eaglets indicated that the shooting occurred within the past few days.
The nesting site, often referred to as the Iron Mine site, has been a productive location for golden eagles for more than 20 years. Eagles can mate for many years and have been known to replace a mate if one should die. Historically, this nest has produced one to two young annually. But this year was a rarity as the nesting pair produced triplets.
Golden Eagles are protected by both federal and state law. Violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act is a federal offense carrying a maximum penalty of $100,000 fine and one year in jail for the killing of an eagle.
Reward posted to speed arrests of those who slaughtered federally protected baby eagles
By Mark Havnes
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 06/19/2007 07:25:00 AM MDT
Martin Tyner is nursing a golden eaglet back to health.... Tyner rushed to the crime scene - a nest north of Cedar City - just in time to see the mother eagle return.
"She was looking around, trying to figure out why the eaglets were dead," Tyner recalled Monday.
Someone had shot and killed two of her babies. A third jumped from the nest and crash-landed at the bottom of a mine pit, injuring its legs. And now Tyner, a licensed raptor rehabilitator in Enoch, is nursing it back to health.
He hopes to release the male golden eaglet once it can fly and hunt for itself, probably in late August or September.
But Tyner, who has helped hundreds of injured birds return to the wild, remains outraged.
"They were just slaughtered by people without a conscience," he said. "Poaching deer and elk is one thing. But these are federally protected eagles. Killing them is as bad as it gets."
The young birds - a male and a female - suffered multiple wounds to the wings, body and head.
Tyner said the Iron County nest was well-known in the community and that bird-watchers have visited it for 20 years.
"It was a great opportunity to view eagles and people loved them," he added. "Now there will be two young eagles whose wings will never touch the sky, heal our hearts, lift our souls.
Bonnie Bell, special agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Cedar City, said the investigation into the shooting is being conducted by her agency and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
She said the two dead eaglets have been sent to the National Forensics Wildlife Laboratory in Ashland, Ore. A $3,500 reward has been offered for information leading to the conviction of a suspect or suspects.
The maximum penalty for a first-time offense is a year in jail and a $100,000 fine.
Bell said the deaths were discovered June 14 and could have happened a couple of days earlier. She said she investigates one or two raptor killings a year in Utah. But none as egregious as the latest shooting.
"Poisonings will kill more than one," she said, "but, in my experience, I've never seen anything this bad."
firstname.lastname@example.org information about the killings is asked to contact authorities and can remain anonymous. Those with information are asked to call Special Agent Bonnie Bell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Cedar City, at (435) 865-0861; Sgt. Brian Shearer, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Southern Region, at (435) 865-6100; or the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources' Help Stop Poaching Hotline at (800) 662-3337.