STANDISH, Calif. -- (KTLA) -- A Northern California man was arrested after wildlife officials said they discovered the “largest raptor poaching case in known California history,” that included nearly 130 dead birds of prey and a dead mountain lion, officials announced Thursday.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers in Lassen County received a tip from a person who said they witnessed a man killing a hawk near the town of Standish. An officer went to the private property and found nine dead raptors during the execution of a search warrant, according to the agency.
The officer returned on March 11 and officials found “an extraordinary number of raptor carcasses” along with other dead birds and spent rifle casings.
A total of 126 dead raptors were found on the property in various states of decay, officials said. Most were red-tailed hawks, but at least one owl and a ferruginous hawk were also found dead. Two dead bobcats, a taxidermic mountain lion and nongame birds were also found, and officials believe they were unlawfully taken.