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Virginia Man Faces 100 Hours Of Community Service After Killing Bald Eagle

Allen H. Thacker, a 62-year-old man from Virginia, has plead guilty to deliberately killing a bald eagle with a firearm and his vehicle. Mr. Thacker drove his all-terrain vehicle (ATV) over the majestic bird several times after he shot it from the sky.

According to the Virginian Pilot, Mr. Thacker has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service. Furthermore, the 62-year-old man will have to pay a $500 fine and approximately $1500 in restitution.

Deliberately hunting and killing a bald eagle is in violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. According to the Daily Mail, Mr. Thacker only killed the bald eagle because “he'd seen the bird killing small game and eating fish on his property.”

Thacker would have gotten away with the senseless killing had he not been spotted by an unnamed resident from Smithfield. The witness, a woman driving along Swamp Mill Road, reported Thacker to the authorities when she noticed that he was repeatedly driving his ATV over a bald eagle.

In her statement, the unidentified witness asserted that Thacker drove over the bird “three to four times.” After calling the authorities, the unnamed woman was able to give police Mr. Thacker’s license plate number. Using this information, local authorities were able to locate Mr. Thacker’s home.

When Mr. Thacker was confronted by police at his residence, he was initially confused by their presence. However, after police told him about the accusations against him, the Virginia man confirmed what the female witness had reported.

Mr. Thacker also told police that, before he ran over the bald eagle, he had shot it out of the sky with a .22 caliber rifle. As the eagle drifted closer to the ground, Mr. Thacker shot it again with an unidentified handgun.

In his statement to police officers, Mr. Thacker emphasized that bald eagles were pests, repeatedly referring to them as a “menace.” Court documents reveal that Mr. Thacker initially developed his dislike of bald eagles after he noticed them eating fish from his pond.

When Mr. Thacker first saw the bald eagle, he tried using his .22 caliber rifle to scare the bird away. When this didn’t work, Thacker became determined to kill the animal.

During his court appearance, Mr. Thacker argued that bald eagles had too much protection under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Specifically, Mr. Thacker told the court that people put “too much emphasis” on the legislation and the symbolic significance of the bald eagle.

Unsurprisingly, many online commenters are offended by Mr. Thacker’s attack on America’s national bird. “Damn. I'd be ecstatic if a bald eagle was showing up to my house to eat the fish out of a stocked pond,” wrote T.T, on the Daily Mail. “But no, all I have are those sh***y pigeons thanks to the neighbor always feeding them birdseed.”

Another user, redbaron616, was more concerned by the impact of wind turbines on America’s bird population, writing: “Yet, wind turbines are given exemption as they kill bald eagles, hawks, and lots of other birds because they have big bucks and it is politically correct. But this man only kills one and the government acts like it is a national disaster. Hypocrites. Companies that have money can do ANYTHING.”

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: USFWS Midwest Region/Flickr, Pixnio, PxHere, Pexels

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