Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Three men face charges for killing tiny, endangered fish in drunken rampage

 Devils Hole pupfish, of which there are fewer than 115 in existence, found dead after men were seen entering fenced-off area of national park

Friday 13 May 201620.19 BST Last modified on Saturday 14 May 201603.41 BST

Three men have been arrested over a drunken rampage that resulted in the death of a member of one of the rarest fish species in the world.

The three suspects have been charged by police after allegedly breaking into a fenced-off protected area of Death Valley National Park in Nevada on 30 April. The men stomped around in the water of Devils Hole, strewing vomit, beer cans and boxer shorts over the area, and tearing up the habitat of the Devils Hole pupfish, one of the rarest fish in the world. One of the fish was later found dead.

According to the National Parks Service, the men fired a gun at least 10 times at gate locks, a motion sensor and several signs. Sensitive scientific monitoring equipment was also damaged. Three beer cans were left behind, as well as the vomit of one of the men and the boxer shorts of another.

The Nye County sheriff’s office said it has charged Steven Schwinkendorf, 29, Edgar Reyes, 35, and Trenton Sargent, 26, with the killing of an endangered species, destruction of property, trespassing and unlawful possession of a firearm. They face the possibility of fines of up to $50,000 and a year in prison.

“Their unlawful visit ultimately culminated with at least one of the suspects stripping off their clothes and entering the water of Devils Hole,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

“The suspect(s) in the water stomped around the shelf area of the critical ecosystem before swimming around the deeper water, leaving behind a pair of dirty underwear when finished.

“The intrusion is believed to have resulted in the death of at least one endangered Devils Hole pupfish, and fisheries biologists are trying to ascertain the extended damage that may have been done to food sources and egg sites which could lead to more loss of a species whose numbers are now below the last count of 115 in existence.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails