LONG BEACH, Wash. -- PETA is offering a $5,000 for help in catching whoever drove into a flock of shore birds Thursday on the beach in southwest Washington and killed 92 of them.
The Sandpiper-type shorebirds called "Dunlin" were found on the sand north of the Cranberry beach approach on Long Beach. Wildlife Center of the North Coast said the trauma that the birds had inflicted on them is consistent with a collision with a motor vehicle.
Seabirds and shorebirds are protected under state law. It is illegal to harm or kill them.
"This senseless attack on these gentle birds isn't just vicious and cruel, it's also against state and federal wildlife protection and anti-cruelty laws," said PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch.
Fish and Wildlife Police say a vehicle has to be traveling considerably faster than the posted 25 mph speed in order to hit these types of birds.
In addition, it is also unlawful under state law for a person to "operate any motor vehicle on or along any ocean beach at a speed greater than is necessary to avoid colliding with any person, animal, vehicle or other conveyance" (WAC 352-37-130).
The stretch of beach where the birds were killed is popular among bird watchers. George and Penny Higdon, visiting the area from Vancouver, were outraged over the bird kill.
"My friend and I were sitting on a log in this area about two days ago and we just saw a bunch of people honking their horns and driving very fast at the birds," George said. "Nobody really drove through them but we saw a lot of that.”
"I think its cruel that they would take sport in stuff like that. Very cruel. It's just sophomoric, juvenile. What ever you want to put on it as a badge - not right,” added Penny.
A $500 reward was also being offered by Wildlife Center of the North Coast, for anyone who shares a tip that leads to an arrest in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to contact PETA at 757-622-7382 or Sgt. Dan Chadwick of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife at 360-581-3337.