Reward for reporting a pigeon poacher

July 2, 2008 5:14:20 AM PDT
A New York City man has won a $2,500 reward for reporting someone who was trapping pigeons, which can be sold to hunting sites or illegally sold to food markets.

The animal welfare group In Defense of Animals says the birds might have been destined for Pennsylvania pigeon shoots or for New York poultry markets. It says the reward it offered has been claimed by a formerly homeless man.

Desi Stewart works for a charity that hires homeless people to clean streets.

He read a poster about the reward and later saw a man spreading bird seed and netting pigeons on Manhattan's Upper East Side. He called a Department of Environmental Conservation officer, who arrested the poacher.

A Brooklyn man pleaded guilty in the case last week. He has to pay three fines, including one for pigeon netting.