2 charged with destroying owl nests while building home in Florida

Posted: 8:58 AM, Oct 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-23 12:58:22Z

CAPE CORAL, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say two Florida men have been charged with destroying the nests of burrowing owls while building a house.

The News-Press  reports that 39-year-old Joaquin Bernal was arrested Friday and charged with a felony count of damaging the nest of a protected species.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says Bernal was supervising a landscaping crew that was working on a Cape Coral lot with six owl burrows. Officials say Bernal and the primary contractor, Jerlis Villalba, knew about the nests but ordered workers to operate construction equipment close to the burrows, causing all six to collapse.

Villalba was previously charged in August.

It wasn't known if any owls were injured.

Bernal was freed on $5,000 bond. Jail records didn't list an attorney.