This February 21 federally protected wading birds, including herons, egrets and ibises, were shot for fun by recent graduates of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md who were enrolled in the Naval Aviation Command in Pensacola, Fla.
Seven people were arrested after the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) responded to shots and saw birds falling from the sky. The charges? Three got felony trespassing and the rest received misdemeanor trespassing, while state and federal charges are still pending.
According to Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), an FWC spokesperson stated, “One of the lieutenants involved in this said that in his 27 years in the job, he had never seen such callous treatment of wildlife. These people were just firing for fun.”
The 21 dead birds in question were federally protected, along with being listed by Florida as “species of special concern.”
The Navy is of course conducting it’s own investigation, but doesn’t want to comment on disciplinary actions. The ALDF is calling for serious action against these individuals, which is definitely conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman.
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