Search underway for Portage County loon shooter

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PORTAGE COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) — DNR Conservation Wardens are looking for help from the public after a loon was shot in Portage County.

“They’re not real common in central Wisconsin,” said Conservation Warden Bryan Lockman. “So if they’re trying to re-establish a population in the area, each individual bird is kind of critical.”

On Wednesday, Aug. 14, an adult female loon was found near Lake Elaine. Staff from the YMCA Camp Glacier Hollow found her on a road to camp and notified Raptor Education Group Inc. (REGI).

Marge Gibson is the director at REGI. She notified the DNR of the federal and state crime, as soon as she realized the bird was shot. “Normally that would be a fatal shot, and she survived it,” said Gibson. “Not only did she survive it, she managed to get to shore and she got out of the water and that’s where someone would find her.”

Not only was this loon strong, she was also lucky. Gibson said the bird has five pellets in her head alone, she has lead poisoning and she won’t be able to migrate with the rest of her species. Still, she’s making a surprising recovery.

Now, the DNR is looking for your help with their investigation. If you know anyone that was in Nelsonville or on Lake Elaine last week, please call 1-800-TIP-WDNR.

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