Attention, Strapped Rednecks: Please Aim Your Guns Away From the Rare Wood Storks

OK, so this isn't the first thing I think of after fin­ish­ing this sto­ry, but name a minor­i­ty or oth­er eth­nic group (do red­necks qual­i­fy? anoth­er ques­tion, pro­jably) where a substitution–make your own– for the appro­pri­ate word  in that head­line might yield a non-offen­sive sentence?

The weird­est nook of Mia­mi-Dade Coun­ty is its unin­cor­po­rat­ed north­west cor­ner — a rur­al tract where gua­jiros pum­mel each oth­er at cow­boy bars, black-mar­ket horse meat is in high demand, and burned cars and oth­er refuse lit­ter the streets as if in some Mad Max hellscape.

Here's yet anoth­er strange atroc­i­ty: Hunters there are using an endan­gered bird as tar­get practice.

It hap­pens every win­ter, says Pepe, our man on the street who asked that his last name not be used. Rev­el­ers stream into North­west Dade to drink at the sprawl­ing ran­chos and dri­ve ATVs through the brush — and fire on every feath­ered thing unfor­tu­nate enough to cross their path. "They'll shoot any bird they see, for tar­get prac­tice," Pepe says. "Some­times they use auto­mat­ic assault weapons. They don't even pick up the carcasses."

Among the bul­let-rid­dled birds Pepe has found: sev­er­al endan­gered wood storks. The gan­g­ly white water bird is try­ing to make a Rocky-like come­back from severe­ly dec­i­mat­ed num­bers: In the '70s, only 2,500 remained. After hunt­ing was restrict­ed, an esti­mat­ed 10,000 wood storks exist today — a rel­a­tive boom that has Flori­da devel­op­ers lob­by­ing to down­grade the bird's sta­tus from "endan­gered" to "threat­ened" in order to ease habi­tat restrictions.

Save the wood stork here.

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2 Responses to Attention, Strapped Rednecks: Please Aim Your Guns Away From the Rare Wood Storks

  1. Rusty Barnes says:

    I know. Talk about ridiculous.

  2. Ha! So ran­dom, I love it!!!

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