Judge orders Kauai man to pay upwards of $40K for shooting at nene birds

The 72-year-old used a pellet gun to kill four nene birds.

Judge orders Kauai man to pay upwards of $40K for shooting at nene birds
Four nene birds were killed when a Kauai man shot them with a pellet gun. (Image: DLNR and USFWS)

LIHUE (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Kauai man, who used a pellet gun to shoot at and ultimately kill four nene birds, was ordered Thursday to pay more than $40,000 in fines.

Kauai prosecuting attorney Justin Kollar convicted Steven Cookson of five misdemeanor state charges of taking an endangered or threatened species.

"The protection of our threatened and endangered species is an important part of our mission,” Kollar said.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct the investigation.

The investigation found in early Feb. 2017 the 72-year-old used a pellet gun to kill four nene and attempted to kill another nene near his home in the Kukuiula subdivision in Koloa.

Cookson pleaded no contest to each of the charges in the environmental court complaint.

For the first four counts, Cookson was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and $155 in fees. Cookson was ordered to pay $155 in fees for the fifth count.

In total, Cookson must pay $40,775 in fines.

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