Matthew Gumz is now facing criminal charges after he allegedly killed a rare California condor – one of the rarest bird species in the world.
If found guilty, Gumz faces 1,5 years in prison and a $115,000 fine for violation of the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act violation.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Gumz was allegedly deer hunting in the Bean Canyon area in Southeast Kern County on Sept. 30, 2016. Gumz allegedly hung a deer he had just killed in a tree. After leaving and coming back, Gumz allegedly saw condors and other birds near the carcass. He then reportedly shot and killed a condor – individual "780", that hatched from an egg laid in captivity in Boise, Idaho and was fostered in the wild in Southern California. The carcass of the condor was eventually found by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist.
There are now approximately 250 California condors in the wild, mostly in central and southern California, but also in Baja California and Arizona.