Craig Staloch killed thousands of pelican chicks

Craig Staloch killed thousands of pelican chicks this May, in violation of federal law, his lawyer admitted in court Thursday.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials arrived at his Minnesota Lake farm to check on a pelican colony May 17. He called back to ask what his "options" were in dealing with the birds. He was told they "could not be harmed or harassed in any manner."

Inspectors went back to Minnesota Lake the next day and found a ghost town of smashed pelican chicks and broken eggs.

"Upon arrival, there were no adult pelicans observed on any of the nests," according to the criminal complaint. The eggs appeared to have been smashed with a heavy stick. Dead pelican babies were littered around the farm.

Staloch destroyed 70 percent of the 1,458 nests on his farm, each of which had at least two eggs.

His lawyer admitted the charges yesterday, saying Staloch "just snapped," according to the Star Tribune.

All he faces is a $15,000 fine and six months in jail for a misdemeanor violation of the migratory bird treaty act.

Craig Staloch, Minnesota farmer, charged in pelican massacre

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