|The bald eagle shot in Genesee County last week is blindfolded and prepared for emergency treatment.|
You don't have to be a tofu-loving, tree-hugger to be outraged at the recent rash of shootings of protected species across the United States and here in Michigan. A few weeks ago another whooping crane was killed, this time in eastern Alabama. (This banded bird was part of the Wisconsin flock that learns to migrate by following the lead of an ultralight aircradft.) Three other whoopers were shot and killed in Georgia late last year. And here in Michigan a Bay City man (58 year old William Hayward) has pleaded guilty to killing three wolves in Mackinac County in January. He's off for 365 days in jail with 90 days to be served immediately and the remaining time suspended if all terms of his 24 month probation are met. And in addition to the $3,000 in restitution for the wolves, and $590 for the replacment of the tracking collars they wore and $1,500 in fines and court costs, his hunting privileges were revoked for three years.
Only three years? I would say for life. He's not a kid. He knew what he was doing!
And just yesterday the Michigan Department of Natural Resource and Environment and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced they are seeking information regarding another wolf poaching case, this time in Chippewa County. This is addition to the wolf poaching case in Luce County announced earlier this week. (Wolves are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act and a person may be charged in both state and federal court for killing wolves.)
And if you've been following the news you already know an American bald eagle - protected by state and federal laws - was shot in Genesee County on Valintines Day. This bird survived but may never fly again.
Rewards are being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the subject or subjects in all the Michigan shootings. Anyone with information is urged to call the REPORT ALL POACHING HOTLINE at 800-292-7800, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or contact th nearest DNRE office or conservation officer. Information may be left anonymously while remaining eligible for a reward. Take a moment and add the 'RAP' number to your cell phone. And do the right thing!