BATESVILLE, Ark. — It was a rare sight with a sad ending.
Hundreds of miles away from the nearest coast, two pelicans were spotted on the White River. Both were shot dead.
“We come up this morning and this is what we saw. Two birds floating. The two birds were both pelicans.”
Two brothers who spend several days a week on the White River in Batesville had never seen pelicans until Monday.
How they found them was not what they wanted for their first encounter. One was shot in the head, the other in the back.
“That’s not a duck hunt, that’s not a quail hunt, that’s not a dove hunt. This is just hunt to kill something that moves,” Earl Lewis said.
According to the Migratory Bird Act, it is also illegal to kill pelicans. They are federally protected.
“We’ll get a ticket if we got them in our possession,” Lewis said, conflicted about leaving the birds on the bank of the river.
They contacted Arkansas Game and Fish hoping to open an investigation into who killed these beach dwelling birds under the Migratory Bird Act.
“I hope whoever shot them goes to jail,” Lewis said.
They’re now working to restore order in the peaceful place and protect all from the illegal actions.
“We have a few bald eagles and we get to see them every now and then. Thank God nobody shot those.”