DUNKELD, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 13: A shooting party set off on first day of the grouse shooting season on Forneth Moor on August 13, 2018 in Dunkeld, Scotland. Gamekeepers are expecting a poor grouse shooting season this year, due to the heavy snowfall in March followed by a warm dry summer which has affected the number of birds breeding successfully. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
MOUND CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say two hunters have been arrested after killing a federally protected trumpeter swan and wounding a tundra swan in Missouri.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that the suspects haven’t been identified pending the filing of charges. They were arrested last week while hunting in Holt County in far northwest Missouri.
The dead swan was seized as evidence, while the wounded one was released the next day. Trumpeter swans have an 8-foot (2.5 meters) wingspan, making them the largest waterfowl to fly across Missouri during their annual winter migration. Tundra swans, which are smaller, also are a protected species.
Missouri Department of Conservation wildlife agent Jade Wright says the hunters likely mistook the birds for snow geese. But he says mistaken identity doesn’t matter when it comes to considering charges.