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10/14/2013 6:00:00 AM
Outdoor Expo brings animals' plight to life
Tamara Sone/The Daily Courier
A display set up by the Arizona Game and Fish Department shows the different types of animals that are often victims of poaching.
Tamara Sone/The Daily Courier
A display set up by the Arizona Game and Fish Department shows the different types of animals that are often victims of poaching.
Tamara Sone/The Daily Courier
Amelia, an American Kestrel from the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary, was just one of the different types of local animals featured at the Prescott Great Outdoors Recreation Festival and Expo on Sunday.
Tamara Sone/The Daily Courier
Amelia, an American Kestrel from the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary, was just one of the different types of local animals featured at the Prescott Great Outdoors Recreation Festival and Expo on Sunday.

PRESCOTT - Along with learning about camping, boating and hiking, attendees at the Outdoor Recreation Festival and Expo this weekend had the opportunity to learn about the different critters native to Arizona.

Representatives from the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary were on hand to show off a variety of animals including a Desert Tortoise, tarantula and snakes to attendees.

Mr. Wilson, a 9-year-old Great Horned owl, calmly sat on sanctuary staff member Darla Boggs' arm while visitors admired his blazing yellow eyes.

"Look how he turns his head," exclaimed Emily Pierce, 7, from Prescott. "It turns all the way around. I wish I could do that."

Mr. Wilson is one of three owls - and the only male owl -that lives at the sanctuary. Mr. Wilson was injured as a baby and could not be released into the wild, Boggs said.

Amelia, an American Kestrel, was another feathered friend from the sanctuary that attended the expo.

American Kestrels are the smallest type of falcon native to North America, sanctuary representative Leah Wacks said. Amelia arrived at the sanctuary in 2009 after suffering from an injury in the wild.

In addition to rescued animals, the Arizona Game and Fish Department had a booth educating the public on how to spot and report poachers.

"There's elk, deer, coyotes; just about every big game species here," Ben Shelby from the Arizona Game and Fish Department said. "We have a lot of diversity in Arizona."

A trailer showcased several examples of some of the animals game officers have confiscated from poachers over the years, including javalina, black bears and coyotes.

"Everything in this trailer we seized from people who could not have them lawfully," Shelby said. "The main point of this exhibit is to show people that poaching does exist."

While the department is aware of poachers in the Prescott area, it is difficult to say just how much poaching occurs, Shelby said. "We just can't catch everyone."

According to Shelby, the best way to report possible poachers is to call the department at 800-352-0700.

Shelby advised witnesses to write down the vehicle's description, license plate, time and place of the incident and what exactly happened.

"When we cite someone, the person who reported it can receive reward money," Shelby said. "We want to let people know that reporting crime pays."



Follow Tamara Sone on Twitter @PDCtsone.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013
Article comment by: Zen Mocarski

@Love Heritage Park Zoo -- Lions are not moved, period. If a zoo requests a lion, it is certainly a consideration, but zoos are limited in the number of wildlife they can accept. Lions need space. The situation you mention happened quite some time ago and that lion was hazed out of one area, chased for a period of time ... and returned. It was darted first because shooting a firearm skyward is extremely dangerous. You are welcome to visit Region 3 on Facebook by searching for AZGFD Kingman and you are also welcome to send questions to zmocarski@azgfd.gov. Game and Fish received hundreds of lion calls in 2012 and I believe two were lethally removed. It does not happen as often as many believe, but it is certainly going to happen periodically.

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013
Article comment by: Alan Whitney

Unacceptable Humans has posted:

"Time we start to "stuff and mount" the humans who do this to these vulnerable animals. And, we're supposed to be more superior?"

Listen to yourself, willya?

P.S. I trust you NEVER eat meat.


Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013
Article comment by: Jerry Insley

As a Prescott native, I hunted there a lot. Poaching is a crime, usually punished minimally. Here in Oregon it is just as prevalent, if not more. When caught, poachers should be banned for life from hunting or fishing. a lesser punishment does little to curb the practice.

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013
Article comment by: Unacceptable Humans

Time we start to "stuff and mount" the humans who do this to these vulnerable animals. And, we're supposed to be more superior?

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013
Article comment by: Love Heritage Park Zoo, sad they don't have the mountain lion

Our zoo is wonderful. I'm glad they take in animals who would otherwise die and help rehab them. It's nice that they educate the public and allow children to see beautiful animals from our area. I'm still very upset AZ Fish and Game killed that very beautiful mountain lion, and don't understand why they did. Their own display about poaching reminded me of that awful event and I wonder if the mountain lion's head is mounted on the display too. The zoo probably would have taken the big cat in, but someone, not thinking or felling decided to take it while it was knocked out completely and shoot it. That to me is also poaching.



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