An 85-year-old man was charged with a felony in connection with the shooting death of a double-crested cormorant — a protected species — in a Bayou Vista canal, police said.
Edward Thielepape was charged Monday with deadly conduct, according to a police complaint from the Bayou Vista Police Department.
Police were called to the 700 block of Marlin Street on Monday morning by a resident who said his neighbor across the canal had shot a bird with a gun, police said.
Thielepape initially told police he had shot the bird with a slingshot, according to the complaint. However, officers matched a bullet found in the bird's carcass with a rifle found inside Thielepape's home, according to the complaint.
The deceased bird was a double-crested cormorant, said Bayou Vista Police Department Chief Jimmie Gillane. The cormorant is a protected species under Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also was investigating the shooting, Gillane said.
Thielepape was arrested and taken to the Galveston County Jail, according to the complaint. His bond was set at $5,000, according to court records. He was no longer in custody on Tuesday afternoon.