Eagle Slaughter Called 'Worst Ever'
February 3, 2005
NORTH VANCOUVER - A North Vancouver woman made a gruesome discovery Wednesday night: the carcasses of 21 mutilated bald eagles.
Eagle talons and feathers are valuable on the black market Bryson-McElwee says it was a horrific sight - all of the eagles had their legs cut off.
Julie Bryson-McElwee was walking her dog around 9 p.m. near Cates Park, just off the Dollarton Highway.
She says her dog ran from her and wouldn't come back. When she went to investigate, she found the eagles.
She called police, who put her in touch with Bev Day, the director of OWL, a wildlife rehabilitation society. (Go to OWL Canada)
Day says there is a black market for the talons of bald eagles, but she is still sickened by the slaughter.
"I don't know who would do this, but I'd like to have my hands on whoever did."
(Listen to INTERVIEW: The Early Edition's Rick Cluff speaks with Julie Bryson-McElwee who found the eagles and Bev Day, the director of OWL.)
The Chief of the Squamish Nation says he's "shocked" and "appalled" by the mutilation. The area where the birds were found is near traditional Squamish territory.
Chief Bill Williams says eagles are occasionally used in traditional ceremonies, but he says the dead birds are provided by the province.
Conservation officers say that this is the worst slaughter of eagles they've seen, adding that they don't yet know how the eagles died.
Bald eagles are on Canada's protected species list.
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