A 64-year-old Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation man may face the wrath of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service after he bought a dead golden eagle from two Pablo men who found it injured, then killed it, according to records of the three men’s arraignment earlier this week.
Doug Standing Rock bought the bird from Curtis Foster, 58, and Glenn Reum, 57, for $100 early last year.
The Associated Press reports the court saw an affidavit which claims Foster and Reum saw the injured bird on the side of the road near Lincoln.
“They packed the injured animal into a cooler then took it to the Budget Inn Motel in Havre, where the pair allegedly kept it in a bathtub for a week while they discussed what to do with it, ” the AP report reads.
The men first tried to strangle the protected animal with a bungee cord before Reum resorted to head-bashing it, with a hammer.
Standing Rock, who works for Rocky Boy’s housing department, bought the bird’s body not long after for ceremonial purposes, which are allowed for tribes, if done correctly.
According to prosecutors, Standing Rock told a special agent from the Fish and Wildlife Service that he knew it was illegal to buy and sell eagles and acknowledged that he did not have a permit for the animal. The bird had been buried, but Standing Rock provided its wings to the agent.
The three men are now facing charges of violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1940 that, according to the USFWS website, “can result in a fine of $100,000 ($200,000 for organizations), imprisonment for one year, or both, on the first offense. ”
The three men do face the one year, though the maximum fine being pursued by the prosecutors is $15,000 each.
If you do find an injured or dead eagle and want to avoid these men’s fate, call the nearest Fish, Wildlife and Parks agent, in Havre at 265-6177.
If the bird is injured, it will be sent to a licensed raptor rehabilitation center, like Raptors in the Rockies in Missoula.
If the bird is dead, its remains will be packed up by Fish, Wildlife and Parks agents and shipped to the Eagle and Wildlife Property Repository in Denver.
— Stephanie Jones, non-game migratory bird coordinator for Region 6 of U. S. Fish and Wildlife Services