NHF&G: Lt. Heidi Murphy: 603-271-3127
USFWS: Special Agent Robert Rothe, 603-223-2541, Robert_Rothe@fws.gov
June 6, 2014
Second Loon Injured in Shooting Dies; Reward Offered for Information
CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Law Enforcement, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, continues to seek help from the public with the investigation into the shooting of two common loons in New Hampshire, one in the vicinity of the Cocheco River in Dover, and the other on Lake Winnipesaukee in Gilford. A reward of up to $5,000 is available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shootings.
Anyone with information regarding the shootings is asked to contact Special Agent Robert Rothe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Concord, New Hampshire at 603-223-2541, or the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-344-4262. Callers may remain anonymous.The incident first came to light on May 20, 2014, when N.H. Fish and Game officials were given information that a loon was found wounded in a field near the Cocheco River in Dover. The loon was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital, where X-rays revealed that the bird had been shot. The loon was released back into the wild, but later died.
In a second incident the same day, another loon was found dead on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in Gilford near Varney Point. It was later confirmed that the loon had been shot and killed.Common loons are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which has maximum penalties of $15,000, with possible imprisonment of up to a year. In the state of New Hampshire, common loons are listed as a threatened species and protected under state laws.