Pelicans walking

Pelicans are a normal site at the Newton Lake Fish & Wildlife Area in Jasper County. A little more than a week ago, someone shot and killed five pelicans and injured another.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police are asking for the public’s help in an investigation into the discovery of five dead white pelicans, along with another injured pelican, at the Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Jasper County on April 3.

The dead and injured pelicans, discovered by IDNR employees at Newton Lake, had been shot near the dam on the south end of the lake, in a location where the pelicans congregate.

The one injured pelican was captured by Conservation Police Officers and taken to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine for treatment.

The American White Pelican is a large migratory bird. Adults are about four feet tall and have a wingspan of nine feet. The pelicans feed on small fish in fresh water lakes and migrate from northern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The pelicans primarily feed on rough fish such as shad.

The White Pelicans began showing up at Newton Lake approximately five years ago as a stopover point on their migration route during the spring.

The IDNR Conservation Police are asking the public for assistance in providing information about the subject or subjects that committed this senseless act. Anyone with information can call anonymously to the IDNR TIP hotline at 877-236-7529.

Information can also be provided to the Illinois Conservation Police Facebook page, or contact your local Conservation Police Officers – Sgt. Dave Hyatt 618-322-0693; CPO Zach Roper 618-553-7363; CPO Dusty Taylor 618-975-0478; or CPO Paul Smith 618-975-0663.