WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – A guy from South Florida was brought before a judge on Tuesday after state wildlife officials accused him of mistreating a bird on Florida’s list of endangered species.
Michael Bochicchio, 31 years old, is charged with abusing a sandhill crane. He is charged with two misdemeanors and one felony of the third degree.
Monday, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators detained him after witnesses reported he pursued a sandhill crane along Military Trail in Jupiter, seized it by the neck, and began plucking its feathers, according to WPBF, an ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach.
According to an FWC report acquired by the station, witnesses said investigators they attempted many times to stop Bochicchio from plucking the feathers.
According to officials, Bochicchio brought the feathers up to a witness’s face and asked if they wanted to keep them.
Jail records indicate that Bochicchio had a $1,000 bond.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the sandhill crane is also protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.