The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Adam Keats, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 632-5304
Bruce Robertson, Tristar Investigation, (310) 390-0947 x 201

Condor Shooting Investigation Goes Public: 'Wanted' Poster Distributed Throughout Central Coast


The Center for Biological Diversity opened a new front today in its
campaign to find those responsible for the shooting of two condors
earlier this year, distributing wanted posters throughout the central
coast region that was home to both of the giant birds. The poster,
printed in both English and Spanish, resembles an Old West wanted
poster, with a picture of a condor and the Condor Tip Line toll-free
number and email address. The poster also advertises the $40,000 reward
that is available for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of the
shooter or shooters.

"It's important to take this
campaign directly to these communities," said Adam Keats, the center's
urban wildlands director. "In these hard economic times we believe that
word of the $40,000 reward will travel fast and loosen lips, hopefully
leading to a break in the case."

The reward is believed to be the largest ever posted for the shooting of an endangered species.

The new public campaign supplements the covert investigation being
conducted by Bruce Robertson of Tristar Investigation, who is believed
to be the first private investigator retained in an endangered-species
shooting case. Since being retained by the Center in April, Robertson
has logged more than 1,000 miles of travel throughout the region,
tracking down leads and developing the case. But the shooter or
shooters remain at large.

"Given the challenges of
penetrating the tremendous size and terrain of the remote regions where
this crime likely took place, the public's help is going to be needed
to solve this crime," said Robertson. "Somebody probably witnessed the
shootings. Somebody probably heard folks talk about them. We want that
somebody to come forward, to help solve the crime and to earn their

The gravity of the case increased on May
11 when one of the two birds that was shot, Condor 286, died of lead
poisoning at the Los Angeles Zoo. Condor 286, known as "Pinns," was one
of the first six birds released in Central California. The shooting was
not the direct cause of Pinns' death; the bird was more likely poisoned
by ingesting hunter-shot lead ammunition. Pinn's odd behavior, caused
by the lead poisoning, led biologists to the bird's capture and the
discovery of the shotgun wounds. Ingested lead fragments are more
likely to result in lead poisoning than shotgun pellets imbedded in
muscle and tissue, as the lead is absorbed much more quickly in the
digestive system.

"Just as in the Old West, when
the community rallied to hold criminals accountable for their crimes,
we are asking the citizens of the area to assist in bringing these
modern-day outlaws to justice," said Robertson.

Any tips regarding the shooting of condors #286 and/or #375 should be called into the Condor Tip Line, toll free, at 1-(800) 840-1272 or sent by email to

Copies of the wanted poster may be downloaded from the center's condor Web page in English or Spanish, or at (English) or (Spanish).

More information on the California condor is available at:

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

(520) 623-5252