Texas farmer admits killing bald eagle after spreading fields with poison-laced corncloseVideo
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The owner of a large Texas farm pleaded guilty this past week to a misdemeanor in the poisoning death of a federally protected bald eagle.
Leonard Cornelius, 35, of Bay City, was sentenced to one year of probation after entering the plea Wednesday before a judge in Corpus Christi Federal Court.
He was also ordered to pay nearly $12,000 in restitution to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, KIII-TV reported.
Cornelius faced up to a year in jail.
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The case against him involved the death of the bald eagle on his farm in 2018.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents had responded and approached Cornelius who admitted mixing approximately 30 pounds of corn with Bidrin 8, a restricted-use pesticide, and spreading it over his fields to get rid of pesky birds, court records showed.
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An incredible photo of a bald eagle is taking the internet by storm. The remarkable photo was captured by amateur photographer Steve Biro at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy in Norfolk County, Ontario. In the photo the bird's wingtip feathers gently touch the water as it looks intently ahead, while its reflection can be seen in the water below. The bald eagle, known as Bruce, is now something of a social media star.
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"He acknowledged seeing dead birds and several dead hogs in the area after he spread the poison," the court papers added.
"Under the supervision of the agents, Cornelius removed the remaining poisoned corn from the fields."
A lab analysis confirmed the bald eagle's death by organophosphate poisoning, the court papers said.
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The bald eagle no longer has been an endangered species but has remained protected under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
Lawyers for Cornelius did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday from Fox News.