ANKENY, Iowa – An anonymous tip to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Friday led to the arrest of an Ankeny man for shooting trumpeter swans at the Paul Errington Marsh east of Ankeny.
A hunter alerted law enforcement authorities after hearing three shots fired and then seeing three swans flopping into the water as well as other swans flying over.
DNR Conservation Officer Dustin Eighmy arrived on scene a short time later and witnessed a man shoot a trumpeter swan. As Eighmy was approaching the man, he shot at another swan.
Eighmy also saw three swans in a pile near the man along with the swan he just killed and two others in the marsh that the man could not retrieve. When questioned, the man claimed he thought the swans were geese.
Loai Abdulal, 28, of Ankeny was charged with six counts of illegal taking of a non-protected game and one count for an unplugged shotgun. A DNR conservation officer seized Abdulal’s shotgun. The man had shot six trumpeter swans, with five of them being young swans.
If convicted, Abdulal will face a $1,500 civil penalty for each trumpeter swan.
“Sadly, this isn’t uncommon lately,” said DNR Conservation Officer Dustin Eighmy. “We’ve seen this happening more frequently so it’s very important that all hunters identify their target before pulling the trigger. We’re very thankful that a hunter knew to call to alert us of this poaching incident in a very timely manner.”
*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.