September 22, 2008

Rare Antelope Shot, Killed on Local Farm A Reward is Being Offered for Information Leading to an Arrest.


The rare addax antelope that roam John Shaw's Putnam County animal sanctuary are gentle and graceful to behold.

That is why he was so distraught when farm employees Sunday came upon one's bullet-pierced carcass inside a fenced pasture at Pheenix Farm near Country Road 315 and Hewitt County Road.

The addax had recently given birth, and its calf went without milk for a day while it cowered near its mother. Shaw said employees found the dehydrated calf nearby and tried to bottle-feed it, but it died hours later.

He and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced a reward in the case Friday.

Shaw said the family-owned farm is a home to other exotic deer and antelope. Hunting isn't allowed on the premises.

"The pen is close to the blacktop, and you can see some of the animals from the road," he said. "Somebody probably drove up, shot and drove away."

The addax, indigenous to Africa, is critically endangered with about 500 left in the wild, according to the Fish and Wildlife commission.

"Senseless, that's what I call it," Shaw said. "They're gentle animals, and it's just cruel to come by and shoot one like that."[email protected], (904) 359-4654REWARDThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the antelope's owner are offering a reward of $750 for information leading to the arrest of whoever shot and killed the endangered animal.Anyone with information can contact the Wildlife Alert Hotline at (888) 404- 3922. Callers can remain anonymous.

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