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Two Newton, Illinois, teenagers have been charged with multiple crimes in connection to the shooting of six American white pelicans at Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Jasper County.

Five pelicans were found dead April 3 at Newton Lake by IDNR staff; a sixth pelican was shot and wounded and was taken to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine for treatment. The birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Act and by state law.

According to a Monday news release from Illinois Department of Nature Resources, the two teenage boys are charged with unlawful take of migratory waterfowl with a rifle, unlawful discharge of a firearm from a public roadway, unlawful firing of a rifle over or into waters of the state, and unlawfully disturbing or harassing wild birds by the use of aid of a motor vehicle. IDNR said information provided by the public led to the charges being filed on April 14 by Jasper County State's Attorney.

The two boys are juveniles, so they are not being identified.

— The Southern

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