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Nature photographer overcome with emotion after acquittal

Posted by wlpo on February 26, 2015

Whether you think Steve Patterson should have been charged with wildlife code violations or not, there’s no doubting his passion for eagles.

Patterson was very emotional testifying during his second trial and broke down in tears again after he was found not guilty of illegally taking two eaglets. The Oglesby eagle photographer says two trials and $20,000 in legal expenses was worth it when one of the two eagles he helped was released back into the wild last month and the other is on the mend. Patterson says he didn’t need a not guilty verdict to confirm he did the right thing.

He says knowing eagles as well as he does, there’s no way he would ever leave two, eight-week old eaglets on the ground. Asked if he would do the same thing if the situation presented itself again, Patterson says he hopes when and if that happens a Good Samaritan Law will already be in effect.

He’s been taking pictures of eagles for a few decades mostly as a hobby but has also sold some of his pictures for profit.

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