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peican

An American White Pelican at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park in 2015.

Lenny Ignelzi, AP file photo

NEWTON, Ill. (AP) — Two teenage boys have been charged in connection with five American White pelicans found shot dead at Newton Lake in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says Monday that the boys are charged with unlawful take of migratory waterfowl with a rifle, among other counts. Agency officials say the Jasper County state's attorney filed charges Saturday after information was provided by the public. The boys aren't being identified because they are juveniles.

Agency staff found the dead birds April 3. A sixth bird was injured and taken for treatment. The birds are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Act and by state law.

The birds migrate in spring from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada with stops in central Illinois. Adults are about 4-feet tall with a 9-foot wingspan.

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