A century ago, the Audubon Society was created as a response for the millions of birds in south Florida that were being killed for women's fashions. Hunters would wipe out entire bird rookeries for the feathers and birds. In just a few hours, hunters would kill every bird they could in a single rookery, killing thousands in one single hunt.
A couple days ago this horrific event was reenacted just a couple miles away from here when seven people entered a rookery that was closed to the public and shot down scores of birds just for fun.
Most all birds were state and federal protected species, like herons, egrets, ibis, and probably some anhingas.
All seven shooters were in their 20s and most likely all friends and drinking buds. Four were recent graduates of the Annapolis Naval Academy, and going through flight training in Pensacola. One was an Eagle Scout who did his Eagle project nearby at the park where I work, about 4 or 5 years ago--and he is the one in the news with the stupid smile on his face in the booking photo.
The wildlife officers picked up 21 birds from the scene, but there were possibly hundreds more that they could not get. Many birds fell into the water where the alligators had a feast. The shooters had expended thousands of rounds of ammunition and had seven thousand rounds left.
The Naval officers will lose their commission, and hopefully a court marshal will demote them to rank E-1 and forfeit all their pay while making them serve the remainder of their service with swab duty before returning to the Collier County jail.
Or better yet: since the Audubon society has a very active chapter in Naples that meets once a month, drop them off at the next meeting. It is at the Southwest Florida Conservancy.
As far as the kid who did his eagle project here at the park, I am removing his name from our mailing list.
i would do more than that. i would be contacting the Boy Scouts and asking them to consider rescinding that Eagle. i think he clearly went to some effort to nullify any good service he did to the community! what a wonderful example he makes! once it was a proud thing to be a Scout, and i still am proud of my time as a Scout and will support Scouts as much as i can, but it is things like this that make me want to not admit it. if i was a leader of his, i would be at the jail having his hide verbally through the bars if that was what it took!