Updated: November 16, 2020 05:15 PM
Created: November 16, 2020 11:02 AM
On Monday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a reward is being offered to anyone who can help charge a suspect or suspects for dumping feet of eight raptors, including bald eagles, in a residential area near Woodbury last week.
According to the agency, on Thursday, the feet from eight raptors were discovered along the west side of Cherry Lane, approximately 500 feet south of Lake Road in Woodbury. A preliminary investigation by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service showed that the raptor feet were dumped in tall grass just off the sidewalk. Each of the 16 feet had the talon (claw) removed from each toe.
A forensic examination is underway to obtain additional evidence.
Bald eagles and other raptors are fully protected by federal law. The maximum penalty for the unlawful take or possession of a bald eagle or bald eagle parts under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act is one-year imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine. A second offense would make the crime classifiable as a felony.
"A lucrative commercial market exists in raptor parts. We believe the talons from the raptor feet found in Woodbury may have been used to make jewelry for commercial sale," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Resident Agent in Charge Patrick Lund.
The incident caught the attention of some living in the area where the bird parts were found.
"First, for someone to capture and do that is horrendous," Ellen Proesch said. "Then to dismember, I can't even imagine."
As part of the law enforcement reward program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest or charges in this case. Any person with information about the raptor parts found in Woodbury or other bald eagle killings should contact Special Agent Andrew Daiber at 651-778-8360, Conservation Officer Joe Kulhanek at 612-271-8044 or Minnesota's Turn in Poachers hotline at 1-800-652-9093.
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