CSI: Condor Goes National
NYT covers condor shooting investigation.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The New York Times has picked up the strange tale of the Monterey County hunt for the shooters of two condors.
As the Weekly reported in April, a corsortium of environmental groups is offering a reward of more than $40,000 for information leading to those responsible for shooting two endangered California condors with shotgun pellets.
Two investigators—a federal agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and a Los Angeles-based private eye hired by the Center for Biological Diversity—are on the trail.
The private detective, Bruce Robertson, has begun posting "Wanted" posters across the region, advertising the reward money and asking tipsters to contact CBD by phone or email.
"The posters rankle federal Fish and Wildlife Service officials," who would rather people contact trained government law officers, the NYT article states.
Robertson, meanwhile, is zoning in on the King City area, where he suspects the shootings took place, according to the NYT report.
Neither of the pellet-riddled condors suffered from the gunshots so much as from lead poisoning, contracted by eating game contaminated with lead bullets. Lead ammunition is now banned in condor country, to the consternation of some hunters—a possible motive for the shootings.
One of the condors, 375, recovered and was released into the Big Sur wild in early May. The other, 286 (aka "Pinns," in honor of his historical release in Pinnacles National Monument), died of lead poisoning a week later.