Russian cops have confiscated two eagles listed in the Red Book is endangered from a man who was offering tourists the chance to take pictures with the illegally kept birds in exchange for cash.
The man was arrested offering the photo opportunity with eagles in the resort town of Yeysk in the Russian Krasnodar Krai region on the shore of the Taganrog Gulf of the Sea of Azov.
A 35-year-old resident of the neighbouring republic was arrested and charged with illegally exploiting the two eagles which are a protected species.
They found that he did not have the necessary paperwork for the birds and they were confiscated.
The police also opened an investigation for “Carrying out entrepreneurial activities without state registration or special permission (license)”. They said that he is likely to face a fine at the end of it but the loss of the birds is likely to be the bigger punishment.
He was reportedly charging a substantial amount although what that was was not mentioned.
Both of the birds have now been kept in a specialised centre to see whether they are fit to be released back into the wild or whether they were captive bred and may be unsuitable for release.
The man’s arrest was carried out as part of the police officers “Resort-2021” project where employees of the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for Yeisk district, together with representatives of the Interdistrict Environmental Prosecutor’s Office Azov-Black Sea have been looking at people carrying out illegal business activities.
Officers had in particular been paying special attention to identifying criminals who use animals and birds in their illegal business.