Tree trimmer could face charges for herons' injuries

Tree Trimmer Could Face Charges For Herons' Injuries
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.

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.