BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts environmental police are investigating the deaths of two common loons found on Cape Cod with shotgun pellets in their bodies.
The Boston Globe reports that the deceased birds were taken over the weekend to Tuft University’s wildlife veterinary clinic, where experts are studying what happened to them.
The black-and-white birds are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Massachusetts also lists them as a species of “special concern.”
Beachgoers found the first injured loon in Truro in early February. It was taken to experts but died a few days later. It was later found to have pellets in its head.
A second injured loon was found weeks later and brought to a visitor’s center in Eastham. It also died and had pellets in its head and neck.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.