File photo of an albatross killed at Kaena Point in December 2015. (Image source: DLNR)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
State and federal investigators say that the 2015 killings of Laysan albatrosses at Kaena Point set conservation efforts back nearly a decade and caused more than $200,000 in damage.
Back in December 2015, a group of Punahou School students and graduates allegedly killed at least 15 birds inside the wildlife sanctuary. They're also accused of destroying 17 nests during the so-called 'rampage.'
According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife investigator, one of the birds was killed with a pellet gun while another was bludgeoned to death. Several birds reportedly had their lower limbs cut off.
"Appalling. Absolutely appalling," said Cathy Goeggel, president of Animal Rights Hawaii. "It was just out of control. Why would they harm an albatross sitting on a nest?"
The reports were filed in Circuit Court by the attorney for Christian Gutierrez, who faces animal cruelty charges. He's pleaded not guilty and is the only person being tried as an adult.
Two others were charged as minors.
"It was a massacre. To understand why it took place, I'm baffled," said environmental activist Carroll Cox.
Gutierrez's lawyer Myles Breiner said his client is being unfairly singled out. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Thursday.