Woodpecker-Saving Daughter Costs Mom $500, Possible Jail Time
Eleven-year-old aspiring veterinarian, Skylar Capo, sprang into action the second she learned that a baby woodpecker in her Dad's backyard was about to be eaten by the family cat.
"I've just always loved animals," said Skylar Capo. "I couldn't stand to watch it be eaten."
Skylar couldn't find the woodpecker's mother, so she brought it to her own mother, Alison Capo, who agreed to take it home.
"She was just going to take care of it for a day or two, make sure it was safe and uninjured, and then she was going to let it go," said Capo.
But on the drive home, the Capo family stopped at this Lowes and they brought the bird inside because of the heat. That's when they were confronted by a woman from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"She was really nervous. She was shaking. Then she pulled out a badge," said Capo.
The problem was that the woodpecker is a protected species under the Federal Migratory Bird Act. Therefore, it's illegal to take or transport a baby woodpecker. The Capo's say they had no idea.
"I was a little bit upset because I didn't want my mom to get in trouble," said Skylar.
So as soon as the Capo's got home, they opened the cage, the bird flew away, and they reported it to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"They said that's great, that's exactly what we want to see," said Capo. "We thought that we had done everything that we could possibly do."
But two weeks later, that same woman from the Department of Fish and Wildlife showed up at the Capo's front door. This time, Capo says she was accompanied by a state trooper. Alison Capo was cited for unlawfully taking a migratory bird and now she's been slapped with a $535 fine.
"I feel harassed and I feel angry," said Capo.
"Kids should be able to save a baby bird and not end up going home crying because their mom has to pay $535. I just think that's crazy," said Skylar.
9NEWS NOW has tried repeatedly to contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife. So far, they have not returned any of our calls. If convicted, Capo could face up to a year behind bars.
vid + story: http://wusa9.com/news/article/161065/158/Woodpecker-Saving-Daughter-Costs-Mom-500