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Pelican 04/09/18 ONLINE ONLY

An American white pelican walks along concrete at Lake Paradise near Mattoon on Monday.

KEVIN KILHOFFER, JOURNAL GAZETTE & TIMES-COURIER

NEWTON (JG-TC) -- Information provided by the public has led to charges filed against two Newton teenagers in connection with the illegal shooting of American white pelicans at Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, discovered on April 3.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) reported in a press release that charges were filed with the Jasper County State's Attorney on Saturday following an investigation conducted by IDNR Conservation Police and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Because juveniles are involved in the case, the names of the subjects are not being released.

The two male subjects are charged with Unlawful Take of Migratory Waterfowl with a Rifle; Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm from a Public Roadway; Unlawful Firing of a Rifle over/into Waters of the State; and Unlawfully Disturbing/Harassing Wild Birds by the Use or Aid of a Motor Vehicle, the IDNR reported.

Five pelicans were found dead at Newton Lake on April 3 by IDNR site staff. Another pelican found shot and wounded was taken to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine for treatment.

The pelicans have been seen at Lake Mattoon, Lake Paradise, Lake Shelbyville and other bodies of water in the area this spring along their migratory pattern.

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