A park ranger at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge is trying to raise awareness about animals being illegally traded across Iowa’s borders. Therese Klauke says a recent case involved a Muscatine shell maker illegally harvesting clams and mussels from the Mississippi River.Park Ranger Klauke says the poaching of clams and mussels might not seem like a big deal to some people, but she says those aquatic creatures are an important part of the environment. She says the animals help tell the quality of the water.Klauke says the company was fined heavily and some company employees were sentenced to prison time. She says other Iowa creatures are being taken illegally, too.She says Iowa turtles and snakes have also been poached and sold as pets. Klauke plans to give a talk on these illegal trades this Friday at the Refuge Learning Center near Prairie City in Jasper County.
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