In Minneapolis, a man has been accused of shooting two federally protected trumpeter swans while kayaking in Anoka County. Conner Benjamin Walsh was charged with seven misdemeanors earlier in this week for allegedly killing the swans late last year.
According to the Star Tribune, the criminal complaint was filed by DNR conservation officers who saw Walsh kayaking on Rice Lake and following a trumpeter swan. He then shot the two birds with his shotgun, grabbed the birds and dragged them behind him with the kayak.
When questioned, Walsh told officers he thought the birds were snow geese which are legal to hunt; trumpeter swans however are four to five times larger and are the largest swans in the world. The birds have been protected since 1918 when they were hunted to near extinction.
Walsh’s hunting license expired in 2016. Trumpeter swans are federally protected and cannot be hunted without authorization from the state.
If found guilty of all charges, Walsh could face a $1,000 fine for each complaint and a jail sentence.
Why don’t people use their cameras to view wildlife instead of guns? Good question!
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