Someone dumped the feet of eight raptors, including four bald eagles, in a residential area of Woodbury last week, and now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is offering a reward for information leading to the person(s) responsible.
The feet were discovered on Nov. 12 along the west side of Cherry Lane, about 500 feet south of Lake Road, in Woodbury, the USFWS said in a news release.
A preliminary investigation indicates the 16 feet were dumped in tall grass just off the sidewalk. Each foot had the talon (claw) removed from each toe.
“A lucrative commercial market exists in raptor parts. We believe the talons from the raptor feet found in Woodbury may have been used to make jewelry for commercial sale," USFWS Resident Agent in Charge Patrick Lund said in a statement.
Officials are doing a forensic examination in an effort to obtain additional evidence.
Bald eagles and other raptors are protected by federal law. The maximum penalty for taking or possession of a bald eagle or bald eagle parts is one year in prison and/or a $100,000 fine. A second offense would be considered a felony.
USFWS is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest or charges in connection to this case. Anyone with information is asked to contact Special Agent Andrew Daiber at 651-778-8360, Conservation Officer Joe Kulhanek 612-271-8044, or Minnesota's Turn in Poachers hotline at 1-800-652-9093.