Feds Prosecuting Tree-Trimmer for Unintentionally Bruising Herons

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is questioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the agency’s decision to prosecute a tree-trimmer who accidentally knocked herons out of a tree.

Ernest Pulido is expected to face charges from the U.S. Attorney’s Office within a week for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He could face a maximum fine of $15,000 and six months in jail.

Pulido was hired by the U.S. Postal Service to prune trees May 3 outside an Oakland, Calif., branch, where postal officials were upset with birds pooping on mail trucks.

One branch that Pulido cut contained nesting black-crowned night herons, one of more than 1,000 species of birds protected under the act.

No birds were killed. Five were injured and taken to a bird rescue in Fairfield, where the facility said all would heal and be able to be returned to the wild. One bird suffered a fractured beak while the offers suffered bruises and scrapes. Pulido is currently paying for the birds’ care.

Even though nothing has indicated the tree-trimmer intentionally targeted the birds, Pulido is being referred for prosecution.

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