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Alison Capo Fine Canceled After Daughter Saves Endangered Woodpecker (VIDEO)


First Posted: 08/03/11 02:02 PM ET Updated: 10/03/11 06:12 AM ET

UPDATE: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a statement expressing regret for an unintended wildlife citation that was issued to Alison Capo. A portion of the release reads:

On June 13, a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service observed a woman carrying a cage that contained a woodpecker at a home improvement store in Fredericksburg, Virginia. As possession of a bird may potentially violate the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the agent initiated an inquiry to determine whether a potential violation had occurred.

Upon speaking with Ms. Capo, on June 27, the agent determined that no further action was warranted. A citation that had been previously drafted by the agent was cancelled on June 28.

Unfortunately, the citation was processed unintentionally through an automated system despite our office’s request to cancel the ticket. The Service has contacted Ms. Capo to express our regret. The Service is also sending Ms. Capo a formal letter explaining the clerical error and confirming that ticket should never have been issued. The ticket is null and void.

A representative also contacted The Huffington Post, stating that Capo was not fined and specifically refuting reports that the agent handed her a citation.

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Original entry:

A Virginia woman, Alison Capo, was fined $535 dollars after her 11-year-old girl prevented an endangered woodpecker from being eaten by a cat.

After saving the bird, the pair went into a home improvement store and brought the woodpecker with them, to keep it out of the heat. There, they ran into a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent, who issued them a fine and a threat of jail time.

Skylar, the animal-loving daughter, said, "Kids should be able to save a baby bird and not go home crying."

The agency has now dropped the charges.

Visit Earthjustice and WWF to learn about helping other threatened and endangered species.

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Filed by Mark Hanrahan  |  Report Corrections