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Second shot loon dies; $5,000 reward offered

CONCORD – A second loon, found shot in Dover last month, has died.

Now a $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting deaths of two loons, which are an endangered and protected species.

The loon that recently died was found wounded on May 20 in a field near the Cocheco River in Dover, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game. It was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital where x-rays revealed it had been shot.

The adult male loon was released back into the wild, without the bullet being removed from its shoulder, but it later died.

The second loon, also an adult male, was found dead, also on May 20, on the shores of Lake Winnipesauke in Gilford, near Varney Point, according to Fish and Game. It, too, had been shot and killed.

The common loon is protected by both state and federal law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

In New Hampshire, loons are considered a threatened species, and it is a misdemeanor to injure or shoot a loon or attempt to do so.

The reward is being offered through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Anyone with information regarding the shootings is asked to call Special Agent Robert Rothe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Concord at 603-223-2541, or the state Fish and Game Department's Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-344-4262 or Callers may remain anonymous.

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