The Department of Fish and Wildlife says nearly 100 shorebirds were killed Thursday when someone drove into the flock on the beach in southwest Washington.

The incident happened on Dec. 27 at about 1 pm. The flock of Sandpiper-type shorebirds called Dunlin were on the beach north of the Cranberry beach approach on Long Beach.

Fish and Wildlife Officers and the Pacific County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene where 92 Dunlin were found dead. Wildlife Center of the North Coast says the trauma that the birds had inflicted on them is consistent with a collision with a motor vehicle.

Seabirds and shorebirds are protected under law. It is illegal to harm or kill them.

WDFW Police have investigated incidents like this in the past and have shown that a vehicle has to be travelling considerably faster than the posted 25 mph speed in order to hit these types of birds.

In addition, it is also unlawful under State law for a person to: operate any motor vehicle on or along any ocean beach at a speed greater that is necessary to avoid colliding with any person, animal, vehicle or other conveyance (WAC 352-37-130).

A $500 reward is offered by Wildlife Center of the North Coast for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in the crime.

Information regarding this investigation can be reported to Sgt Dan Chadwick, WDFW Police at (360) 581-3337.

Compiled by Susan Wyatt, KING 5 News

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