April 30, 2014 - 10:09 AM
KAMLOOPS — Poachers have killed nine eagles in the Kamloops area and local authorities need your help finding who did it.
The Conservation Officer Service found the carcasses of eight bald eagles and one golden eagle in a ditch on a well-used public road—with their heads, feet, tail feathers and wings removed.
All nine birds were found in a ditch near Spiyu7ullucw Ranch, formerly known as Harper Ranch. The word Spiyu7ullucw means “the land of the golden eagles.”
Sgt. Andy Mackay with the Conservation Officer Service says the bird remains were found by a passerby walking her dog on March 3. RCMP were notified, and conservation officers began investigating the case.
Mackay said information on how the birds were killed will not be released at this time in order to verify tips from the public.
“We have some indications on how they were killed,” Mackay said.
The black market price of a bald eagle “parted out” can range from $400 to $500, while a golden eagle can be close to $1000.
“I know there is some first nation cultural significance to these parts,” Mackay said, acknowledging that the office can only speculate the reason for the eagle dismemberments at this time.
Under the Wildlife Act, it is an offence to possess, take, injure, or destroy an eagle or its eggs, or the nests when occupied by an eagle or egg. Maximum sentencing for the offence is a $100,000 fine and/or one year jail time.
The investigation is supported by RCMP and Tk'emlups te Secwepemc.
If the public has any information, they are asked to call the Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1 877-952-7277 or online.
The B.C. Wildlife Federation pay rewards up to $5,000 for information leading to the conviction of persons who have violated laws related to the protection of fish, wildlife or the environment.
-This story was updated at 4:03 p.m. to include information obtained through an interview with Sgt. Andy Mackay.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014