Endangered falcon shot in West Allis
UPDATE: A $10,000 reward has been established for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for shooting the endangered bird.
WEST ALLIS - Madame X may never know what it's like to take flight again, like she did in this actual photo of her.
"It's a sad thing, it's just senseless, I mean why? I question why?" said Greg Septon, a peregrine falcon expert.
Someone opened fire with a shotgun on this beautiful bird. The x-ray shows her body full of pellets, and it's particularly troubling. Peregrine falcons are an endangered species, and Madame X is a mom, expected to mate again this spring.
"So she had her first successful nest there last year, produced three young. We were so excited to be able to say finally that we had all of our nest boxes producing," said Cathy Schulze, WE Energies spokeswoman.
Nest boxes have sat atop six WE Energies power plants since the 1990s in an effort to revive the species. From her tag, we know Madame X was born in Iowa and migrated to this box at 92nd and Water town Plank Road.
Six miles from the WE Energies plant that Madame X calls home, she landed on this snow pile, badly injured.
"When I put my arms up to it, I knew that something's wrong with it 'cause it would've left right away before I even got close to it," said Rick Popp who rescued the peregrine falcon from a yard in West Allis.
Popp was in rescue-mode when he discovered Madame X.
"And I caught it here on the curb, took it in, put it in a box, put tape on it and a couple women took it to the humane society," said Popp.
Whoever shot the bird could face strong penalties under the statutes that protect endangered species. It's up to a $5-thousand fine and nine months in jail, and the DNR is working with West Allis police to catch the shooter.
The Humane Society of the U.S. is offering a $5-thousand reward for information that leads to the shooter. And in addition, WE Energies is putting up $25-hundred to help with the medical costs to care for the injured bird.