Trumpeter swan taking flight. (Photo/Karl Heil/USFWS)

An anonymous tip led authorities to a man shooting trumpeter swans at a marsh in central Iowa.

Although a conservation officer arrived at the scene, it wasn’t before six of the swans were killed, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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Learn more from the Iowa DNR:

ANKENY, Iowa – On December 6, 2019, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources received an anonymous tip about a man shooting trumpeter swans at Paul Errington Marsh, just east of Ankeny.

A hunter alerted authorities of a man shooting trumpeter swans at the marsh. The hunter later heard three shots fired and then saw three swans flopping in the water, as well as other swans flying over.

DNR Conservation Officer Dustin Eighmy arrived on scene a short time later and witnessed the man shoot a trumpeter swan. As Conservation Officer Eighmy was approaching the man, the man shot at another swan. He also witnessed three swans in a pile near the man, as well as the swan he had just killed and two others in the marsh that the man could not retrieve. When questioned, the man claimed he thought the swans were geese.

Loai Abdulal, 28, of Ankeny, is charged with six counts of illegal taking of a non-protected game and one count for an unplugged shotgun. A DNR conservation officer seized his shotgun. The man had shot six trumpeter swans, with five of them being young swans. If convicted, the man will face a $1,500 civil penalty per trumpeter swan.

“Sadly, this isn’t uncommon lately, we’ve seen this happening more frequently so it’s very important that all hunters identify their target before pulling the trigger,” said DNR Conservation Officer Dustin Eighmy. “We’re very thankful that a hunter knew to call to alert us of this poaching incident in a very timely manner.”

NOTE: A criminal charge is merely an accusation unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.

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