Online Staff Report
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for illegally shooting a bald eagle in Putnam County. The HSUS reward adds to an existing $1,000 reward from the Bureau-Putnam County Crime Stoppers.
According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, on Oct. 30, an injured juvenile bald eagle was discovered along the Illinois River near Hennepin. Conservation police later captured the bird, whose wing had been fractured by shotgun pellets. The eagle was initially cared for by the Countryside Animal Clinic in Streator, and is now in the care of the Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Durand. The bird is expected to survive.
“The callousness of poachers is appalling, and we hope that anyone with information about this or other poaching crimes will come forward,” 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.”
Shooting an eagle is a violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Penalties for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act can include up to one year in jail and a $100,000 fine.
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.
Anyone with information about the eagle shooting should contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources hotline at (877) 236-7529 or Bureau-Putnam County Crime Stoppers at (815) 925-7412. Callers with information may remain anonymous.
The HSUS and HSWLT work to curb poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information.