American White Pelican

A Minnesota farmer is accused of smashing thousands of American White Pelican chicks and eggs — all the offspring in one of Minnesota’s largest pelican colonies. “The gist of it is he made a terrible mistake,” said the farmer’s attorney.

The farmer claimed that he had incurred $20,000 in expenses and lost revenue because pelican droppings had damaged the 7 acres he rented on the shores of the Minnesota Lake. When he asked wildlife specialists from the the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources what options he had in dealing with the pelicans, he was told that they could not be disturbed because they are a protected species.

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When the wildlife specialists returned the next day they found a total 1,458 nests and 2,400 eggs and chicks had been destroyed. Only one chick was still alive.

The farmer could face a fine of up to $15,000 and six months in jail for violating the federal Migratory Bird Act.

Image Source: Dave and Rose/Flickr