Tree trimmer could face charges for herons' injuries

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Tree Trimmer Could Face Charges For Herons' Injuries

A nest of baby black-crowned night herons in California fell out of their tree while it was being trimmed -- and now that tree trimmer could face federal charges.
Tree trimmer could face charges for herons' injuries
A Black-crowned Night Heron contemplates a dead fish at the Harlem Meer in New York citys Central Park.
Adult Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nictycorax, in flight at Jamaica Bay Wildlife refuge. Jamaica Bay, New York. USA
A roseate spoonbill, left, and black-crowned night heron, right, are shown at a colonial waterbird nesting site along the Houston Ship Channel Tuesday, June 28, 2011, in Baytown, Texas. The island is part of a project to restore lost wetlands and islands off the Texas coast. The federal government is hoping it could become a model for rebuilding these crucial ecosystems elsewhere in the five state Gulf region. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, MAY 14 ** A mature black-crowned night heron flies off of a branch on Wade Island in the Susquehanna River, Tuesday, May 9, 2006, near Harrisburg, Pa. In the coming days or weeks, Pennsylvania wildlife authorities will take their first stab at killing double-crested cormorants to stop them from stealing nesting space from great egrets and the black-crowned night heron on Wade Island. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 02: Black-crowned night heron eating an eel it has caught, Chincoteague, Virginia (Photo by George Grall/National Geographic/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 02: Black-crowned night heron hunting in a marsh, Chincoteague, Virginia (Photo by George Grall/National Geographic/Getty Images)
Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) remain at Birds Island in the Suchitlan lake, near the town of Suchitoto, 47 km east of San Salvador, on April 20, 2012. The Suchitlan lake, an artificial lake formed by the Cerron Grande dam, is a natural shelter for wildlife in El Salvador. Activists across the globe will celebrate Earth Day on April 22 with events aimed at bringing awareness of environmental concerns. AFP PHOTO/JOSE CABEZAS (Photo credit should read Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nyctocorax) remains on a branch at Birds Island in the Suchitlan lake, near the town of Suchitoto, 47 km east of San Salvador, on April 20, 2012. The Suchitlan lake, an artificial lake formed by the Cerron Grande dam, is a natural shelter for wildlife in El Salvador. Activists across the globe will celebrate Earth Day on April 22 with events aimed at bringing awareness of environmental concerns. AFP PHOTO/JOSE CABEZAS (Photo credit should read Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on March 08, 2014 shows a black-crowned night heron perched on a branch in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, Israel. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A Black-crowned Night Heron glides across the green waters of New York citys Central Park Lake. Nycticorax nycticorax
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NBC reports that, "to keep bird droppings off the mail trucks, the postal service hired Ernesto Pulido.
"He says at some point in the pruning process, five baby herons fell from their nests and were injured."

The New York Times reports that the incident, which occurred in early May, gained a lot of attention after rumors spread that the herons had been put into a woodchipper. The New York Times reported that those rumors were not true, nothing that the birds had little more than bruises and scrapes.

Pulido told The New York Times that he actually had to move his pregnant wife and young daughter to another home because he was receiving threats.

Care2 says there was even a petition created called "Oakland Chainsaw Massacre." It called for the Oakland post office to be held accountable for the birds' injuries.

Reports say the birds have nested in the area for years. An agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told KPIX there's no excuse for harming the birds.

Reporter: "Why recommend prosecution?"
Agent: "Because it's still a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act."

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is intended to protect migratory birds.

Due to this accident, Pulido could face up to six months in jail or a $15,000 fine.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that because Pulido admitted he "screwed up" and has done what he can to make up for the incident, wildlife investigators propose the fine should be only $1,500.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa wrote a letter to the director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, questioning why it isn't directing blame at the postal service.

"I made a mistake, I faced the consequences."

Pulido has publicly apologized for the incident, and NBC reports he paid $2,500 for their treatment. The herons are reportedly doing just fine and will be released soon.
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