2 Illegal Migrants Who Killed a Bald Eagle To Eat in Nebraska Say They Thought it Was a Vulture

Two illegal migrants from the Republic of Honduras were busted on Tuesday in Nebraska after shooting and killing a North American bald eagle with the intention of cooking and eating it. The two men, who only spoke Spanish, told authorities through an interpreter app that they taught the bird was a vulture.

Bald Eagle

The Stanton County Sheriff’s Office revealed the two Honduran nationals' identities as Domingo Zetino-Hernandez and Ramio Hernandez-Tziquin, both 20 years old. The two men, who had no identification on them, told authorities that they “planned on cooking and eating the bird,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

In an Interview with the Post, Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger said they found that the duo are in the country illegally after conferring with United States Immigration.

Deputies stopped the men near the main Wood Duck Recreation area after receiving a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area, situated about three miles southwest of Stanton. When deputies asked the men to open the trunk of their car, they found that they were in possession of a dead North American Bald Eagle.

According to Unger, deputies used an interpreter app to communicate with the two men, as they spoke only Spanish. Via the app, the men told deputies they “shot a vulture.” Deputies then asked to see the vulture and the men “freely” opened the trunk of their vehicle to reveal a dead bald eagle, Unger said, adding that it was unclear if the men understood bald eagles are protected under federal law.

Sheriff Unger said the men also cut off the bird’s feet with the intention of making the talons into ornaments. The bird and the rifle used to kill it were taken custody of by Nebraska Game and Parks.

The two Honduran nationals, living in Norfolk, were cited for unlawful possession of the eagle. Hernandez-Tziquin, the driver of the vehicle, was also cited for not having a driver’s license. As the investigation into the unlawful killing is ongoing, more serious charges against the men are pending, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Unger told CNN he had never dealt with the killing of a bald eagle in his county during his 40 years of law enforcement experience.

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