ANOKA, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota man is charged with killing two federally protected trumpeter swans in Anoka County.

Twenty-five-year-old Conner Walsh of Lino Lakes faces several misdemeanors, including hunting protected birds, in connection with last fall’s killings on Rice Lake. He was charged by summons and has to appear in court on July 17.

His mother told the Star Tribune the family has no way to reach him.

The complaint says that a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officer saw Walsh shoot and kill a trumpeter swan from a kayak, then drag the bird in the water. DNR officers approached and saw two dead trumpeter swans on the boat.

Walsh allegedly said he thought the swans were snow geese. But the DNR says trumpeter swans are up to five times larger, and hunters should know the difference.

A similar situation happened in southern Minnesota in September 2018, when a man killed two trumpeters with an unplugged shotgun in Nicollet County.  A 47-year-old man was later charged with a petty misdemeanor and slapped with a fine.

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