ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently told a story about grabbing a feather shed by an eagle after it swooped past his family’s canoe during an outing on an Adirondack lake.

The New York Democrat says he still has the feather on his fireplace. According to federal law, that’s a major no-no. The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 prohibits the possession of eagle feathers by non-Native Americans.

Anyone convicted of violating the law could face a fine of up to $100,000 and a year in jail.

It’s a law most Americans don’t know about. According to the governor’s office, Cuomo wasn’t aware, either.

After The Associated Press inquired about the feather, a Cuomo spokesman said the governor will either return it to the lake or give it to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife repository.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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