The owner of a Palacios fish farm was found guilty of killing 90 protected brown pelicans and a slew of other birds, the U.S. Attorney's Office says.
Khanh Vu, the owner of Seaside Aquaculture Inc., faces a fine of up to $15,000 and six months in prison for his conviction.
Investigators found shotgun shells and the carcasses of birds on his property after a tip, but there was a good explanation: "At trial, the defense unsuccessfully attempted to convince the jury that the birds had died as a result of running into power lines," the USAO says.
Brown pelicans were not the only targets who were apparently threatening Vu's fish.
The casualty list:
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90 brown pelicans
17 great blue herons
five great egrets
four black-crowned night herons
four turkey vultures
Not a scaup!! Yes, even a scaup.
Vu did admit to killing six of the pelicans because they were eating his fish, but denied the others. Employees also denied to investigators that they had killed the birds.
Federal law prohibits "the killing, at any time or in any manner, any migratory bird or any part, nest or egg of any such bird" that is specified by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, such as the brown pelican.