Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Investigating the Condor Shootings

The Center for Biological Diversity hired a private investigator to find who shot two endangered California Condors in California. Environmental groups have also increased the reward for information about the shootings to $40,500.

Robertson was hired this week by the Center for Biological Diversity to help crack the case, which has spawned one of the largest rewards ever offered in connection with an injured endangered species.

By Thursday afternoon, the reward established by a coalition of environmental groups and wildlife advocates had grown to $40,500.

In an interview in his office, Robertson, who is a member of the Center for Biological Diversity, said, "I believe that the reward will loosen tongues in rural areas where times are tough right now."

Robertson declined to reveal his approach to the case on grounds it might tip off the shooter. However, he said he plans to travel to Monterey County next week to "begin organizing a team of investigators who will leverage their connections in the area to cast a wide net."
USFWS investigators do not seem pleased about the involvement of a private investigator. However, the agency does tend to be short-staffed, so perhaps this will lead to a faster resolution of the case. Both condors are still alive and being treated at the Los Angeles Zoo.