PITTSBURG, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game is asking for help from the public in solving the shooting of a federally protected loon in a lake in the town of Pittsburg.

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The bird was found in late August in Back Lake after its condition was reported to state officials.

Regional Wildlife Biologist Will Staats says the bird was incapacitated to the point that he could reach under a dock and pick it up.

A full-body X-ray found dozens of shotgun pellets as well as fishing tackle.

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The bird was later euthanized.

A full-body X-ray found dozens of shotgun pellets and a fishing tackle. (Image courtesy: NH Fish and Game Dept.)

In addition to being protected by state law, loons are also federally protected.

The penalties for taking or attempting to take a loon can include a fine of up to $250,000.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.