When the California Department of Fish and Wildlife received a report of someone killing a hawk, they knew they needed to investigate. All hawks and owls are considered a federally protected species, so if someone really had killed a hawk, they would be poaching. A Fish and Wildlife officer watched the property covertly before visiting the property where he discovered nine dead raptors.
When the officers showed up with a search warrant on March 11, they were horrified at what they discovered. Scattered among the property they discovered 126 dead raptors, two dead bobcats, and a stuffed mountain lion. The dead birds were found near popular roosting areas, such as trees or telephone poles.
The property is 80 miles north of Reno, near the Honey Lake Wildlife refuge. Officials say that this is likely the biggest case of raptor in California history. He faces up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine for every poached raptor, and a $10,000 fine for a poached mountain lion. In all, he is facing up to $640,000 in fines and 63 years in jail.
This is a horrible story, and we know that sometimes we need a reminder of good in the world after a horrible time like this, so check out the video below!