WALLA WALLA, Wash. — A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the killing, maiming and theft of nearly a dozen Pioneer Park Aviary birds.
The unidentified teen from Columbia County, Washington, is under investigation for nine counts of first-degree animal cruelty, four counts of first-degree criminal trespassing and four counts of third-degree malicious mischief, according to a Walla Walla Police Department release.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest.
In early June, the police department received information from a witness after a community group offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
Overnight, between May 14 and 15, as well as between May 29 and June 1, the aviary netting was cut, and several birds were killed, injured or stolen.
The first occurrence included harm to a blue peacock, which was severely injured with cuts to its head and neck, and tail feathers pulled out.
The peacock survived, but is blind in one eye and spends most of the day hiding in a large tuft of grass, unmoving. It has not recovered from the assault, according to the release.
A white peacock, blue peahen and white-crested kalij pheasant were killed and found in the pond.
Three coturnix quail, one valley quail and one black Swedish duckling were stolen.
After that, the aviary caretaker on May 19 alerted authorities about the enclosure being entered, doors to pens opened and things moved around. However, no birds were reported killed or stolen.
In the second assault on the aviary, a blue peahen that was nesting on five eggs was killed, resulting in four of the eggs hatching with only two surviving.
A wood duck and a paradise shelduck were killed. A female swan was injured and could not or would not move her head, resulting in her not eating for three days. However, she appears to have since recovered.