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Reward offered after theft of young eagles

ENVIRONMENTALISTS from the Raptor Protection in Slovakia (RPS) organisation (Ochrana dravcov na Slovensku) will reward anyone who helps to find the person who is thought to have stolen three young Imperial eagles. Environmentalists say the birds were snatched in western Slovakia at the end of May.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS from the Raptor Protection in Slovakia (RPS) organisation (Ochrana dravcov na Slovensku) will reward anyone who helps to find the person who is thought to have stolen three young Imperial eagles. Environmentalists say the birds were snatched in western Slovakia at the end of May.

“This is a new nest, built by the eagle pair this year,” Michal Noga of RPS told the SITA newswire, adding that the mother eagle nested at a height of about 15 metres. A local farmer knew about the nest since it was on his land and he noticed that an older white car with Czech licence plates regularly appeared near the nest. The farmer then saw the mother eagle was no longer sitting in the nest as the young eagles had apparently disappeared, which the environmentalists later confirmed.

“Three offspring are rare for Imperial eagles. Moreover, this species is one of our most precious raptors, as there are only 35 to 40 pairs nesting in Slovakia. Let us hope that this pair will not leave the locality after this tragedy and will nest here again next year,” Noga stated. The parent eagles have been returning to the nest and the environmentalists express hope that if the missing offspring are recovered they could be returned to the nest.

“There is a real chance that the parents would start to fully care for them and raise them into healthy adults able to live in the wild. That is why we are offering a reward of €1,000,” Lucia Deutschová of RPS said. The environmentalists also filed a complaint with the police regarding this act. “We think that it is a crime by an organised group. We appeal to anyone who could help to expose the perpetrator to inform the police or to turn to our organisation – through our website www.dravce.sk.”

The population of Imperial eagles has also suffered from illegal shooting and deliberate poisoning from planted baits containing poison. If caught and convicted, the perpetrator could face up to 3 years in prison.

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