The US Fish and Wildlife Service is offering $2,500 in rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction responsible for the deaths of four wolves and six bald eagles near the Bob Marshal Wilderness Area in Montana. The reward is one of three in the region involving cases of mysterious animal deaths.
Lab results have shown the animals died as a result of poisoning in May, but fish and wildlife special agent Rick Branzell said Tuesday he could not elaborate on any details of the case because, “the matter is still under investigation.”
Also in May, 13 cows and one calf were shot outside of Hankinson in Richland County. The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association is offering a reward of $4,100 for information in the case which cost rancher David Kluge an estimated $30,000. Criminal charges in such cases are dependent on the value of the livestock that are killed. Between $500 and $10,000 is a Class C Felony, and above that amount is a Class B Felony. A class B felony carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine plus restitution. Killing a bald eagle violates the United States Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (EPA), 16 USC 668 (a). Under the EPA the crime carries a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison, and up to a $100,000 fine. The bald eagle is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
The NDSA is also offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of suspects involved in a pair of livestock shootings in Griggs County. The two incidents near Cooperstown involved the killing of four horses and three head of cattle.
Last week the reward for information in the shooting deaths of nine cattle in Oliver County became the largest such reward in state history at $18,000. The NDSA reward fund in that case grew due to a $5,000 contribution from the North Dakota Farmers Union and $9,000 from the owners of the cattle, Miles and Marjorie Tomac and John and Kim Dixon, all from Mandan. The value of the cattle was an estimated $25,000, and the shooting occurred around July 4.
NDFU president Woody Barth told the Associated Press the Farmer’s Union donated to the reward fund because of concern that someone would randomly shoot and kill cattle.