CT: Police seeking trapper who killed a barred owl
December 3, 2009
DEP Police Investigate Killing Of Protected Owl
Environmental police are looking for the poacher who trapped and killed a
barred owl — a federally protected bird — in East Haddam last week.
The bird was found in an illegal trap in a wooded area of the Moodus
section of town Nov. 25. Attempts to save the injured owl failed, and it was
euthanized by a local veterinarian, the state Department of Environmental
Protection said in a statement Thursday.
The DEP's EnCon police seized the trap, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service is conducting tests on the owl.
"We hope that the forensic results and a joint investigation by our two
agencies will determine how the owl came to be in the trap," said DEP Deputy
Commissioner Susan Frechette. "What concerns us most is that the
characteristics of this trap indicate it was used by a poacher who exhibited
a flagrant disregard for the law."
She said poaching a barred owl violates the federal Migratory Bird Treaty
Act and carries fines of up to $15,000, and up to 6 months in jail.
The trap, an unpadded foothold trap, is only legal in Connecticut when
placed under water. They are meant to be used for capturing aquatic animals
such as beavers and muskrats, Frechette said.
Barred owls are stocky in stature, with broad wings and a short tail.
"This situation cannot be equated with trapping, which is highly
regulated in Connecticut," said Frechette. "Responsibly conducted, trapping
can alleviate or prevent property damage caused by beavers and muskrats
including flooding of land and homes and the destruction of wells, roads or
She said trapping, raccoons, coyotes and fishers also helps prevent crop
damage or attacks on livestock, and is also used as a tool to protect
threatened and endangered species.
Anyone with information on this case can call the DEP 24-hour emergency
line at 860-424-3333.
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