No bigs: Kennedy brothers violate Endangered Species Act rescuing sea turtle

posted at 10:01 pm on July 17, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

First of all, let me be clear that I’m in full support of members of the Kennedy clan embracing an impulse for water-based rescue missions, and always have been. Brothers Max Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are rightly being shown leniency this week for a good deed that was technically a bit overzealous in the eyes of the law:

While the story of two Kennedy brothers rescuing an entangled leatherback turtle had a happy ending, wildlife officials caution it could have easily turned tragic and should be attempted only by experts.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Division of Fisheries has spoken with both Max Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about the rescue of an estimated 500-pound turtle in the waters of Nantucket Sound over the Fourth of July weekend, said John Bullard, regional administrator.

The brothers have been “cooperative and very helpful” as the organization gathers pictures, gear and other evidence involved in the rescue, Bullard said.

“We’ve explained what they’ve done is a violation of the Endangered Species Act and we discourage people from doing it,” he said.

In a statement posted on NOAA’s website, Robert Kennedy expressed regret over their decision to save the animal themselves.

“When we spotted a sea turtle in trouble over the 4th of July weekend, our first impulse was to do what we could to help free the animal,” he said in the statement.

“But we realize that the action we took was pretty risky, these are large, powerful animals.”

The turtle had become entangled in a buoy line, and protocol is apparently to call a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hotline, so the authorities can deal with the reptiles, which can sometimes weigh up to 700 pounds. According to an NOAA official, it can be dangerous to untangle them without proper training, lest they get you tangled and dive with you deep below the surface. The rescue does look quite dicey in video:

My quibble with the authorities’ treatment of the Kennedys is that they don’t seem to be as forgiving of people who don’t belong to America’s foremost family of political royalty when they’re in the same situations.

In Indiana, a man faces possible jail time for trying to rehabilitate an ailing bald eagle.

In Virginia in 2011, an 11-year-old girl was greeted by at her home by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife officer and an armed state trooper for trying to save a woodpecker. She was fined more than $500.

Also in 2011, federal authorities were intent on dragging an Idaho man to court after he killed a grizzly bear on his property to protect his children, despite the fact that he called state wildlife authorities in good faith immediately after the shooting. The charges were dropped after public outcry, but he was fined $1,000 for violating the Endangered Species Act.

Many Americans are going to make occasional mistakes, in the eyes of the law, in dealing with wildlife. The law is sometimes complex and counterintuitive to folks just trying to do the right thing. But their good-faith efforts to save animals, or in more dire circumstances protect their families, should not immediately incur the full force of official overreaction. In the case of the Kennedys, some common-sense leniency was the immediate response. I wish it were the same for 11-year-olds in Virginia.

NOAA officials urge everyone to call the hotline instead of trying to rescue turtles:

With a higher number of animals in distress, the possibility of risky citizen intervention increases, Bullard said.

“And the wrong answer is, ‘We went in the water because the Kennedys did,’” he said of citizen rescues.

I can’t even with that quote, y’all.

Update: Another one to file under “Wildlife-related activities only Kennedys can do without political consequences.”

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turtle sex!

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM

First of all, let me be clear that I’m in full support of members of the Kennedy clan embracing an impulse for water-based rescue missions, and always have been.

Same here. Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.

Drained Brain on July 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Why does the first guy sound like he’s about to cry or something?

B

preallocated on July 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM

No need to rescue those Magician Bunnies..

They got ObamaCare…
On-Star….
And EBTs

Electrongod on July 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM

…at least they didn’t leave the turtle…to drown!

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Hmmmm, so the Kennedys, wealthy family, get a stern talking to and the eleven year old get a $500 fine? That seems about right in America today.

Cindy Munford on July 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Kennedy brothers violate Endangered Species?

Oh, those zany Kennedy kids.

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 10:06 PM

The rest would spend the next year bankrupting ourselves fighting the government… Before losing.

mankai on July 17, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Many many laws against the saving of hurt animals. I know first hand.

Bmore on July 17, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Update: Another one to file under “Wildlife-related activities only Kennedys can do without political consequences

Could thing this wasn’t a Palin or all holey hell would have broken out and we’d never hear the end of it.

RickB on July 17, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Problem is there is seldom an expert around when you need them.

Bmore on July 17, 2013 at 10:09 PM

$500 because she saved a woodpecker? I’d send monopoly money and dare the effers to make a stink about it.

Where does government find these jackasses, I mean besides Chicago.

Bishop on July 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Problem is there is seldom an expert around when you need them.

Bmore on July 17, 2013 at 10:09 PM

I had the same thought. I guess you could give the authorities coordinates for the turtle, but who knows how long it’d take them to get there or if they’d find him? I’m comfortable with private citizens incurring a little bit of risk voluntarily to help the big guy out as opposed to no one helping at all.

Mary Katharine Ham on July 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM

…we’ve raised fawns in our neighborhood over the years…when the mother has been found dead…and released them when they were able to be on their own…and you would not believe the penalties if you are caught!

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM

REAL Kennedys would have done it pantsless.

:P

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on July 17, 2013 at 10:13 PM

You know, a 500 pound turtle could feed a lot of folks.

Arnaud’s in New Orleans coulda made a batch to die for.

But the government, they stand in the way, they stand in the way…said in the voice of Richard Lebertini (General Garcia) in the 1979 In-Laws.

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Mary Katharine Ham on July 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Precisely.

When minutes count, NOAA and other government agencies are but hours away.

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 10:15 PM

They didn’t rape it, did they?

catmman on July 17, 2013 at 10:15 PM

When the government fines people for saving animals, where does the money go? What do the Feds do with it? Does it go to the care of the ailing animal, or in restitution to the family of an animal that had to be killed like the bear in the blurb above?

Liam on July 17, 2013 at 10:18 PM

They didn’t rape it, did they?

catmman on July 17, 2013 at 10:15 PM

…they were doing something for 35 minutes!

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Anyone else and they’d already be in jail with the iron boot heel of the Obama admin and his Department of Injustice on their necks.

Warner Todd Huston on July 17, 2013 at 10:18 PM

..will Holder flap his fins?

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2013 at 10:22 PM

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2013 at 10:22 PM

No, probably not. Just balance balls on his nose.

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 10:25 PM

No, probably not. Just balance balls on his nose.

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 10:25 PM

…is JugEars there again?

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Surprised one of them didn’t drown or OD during the rescue…

OmahaConservative on July 17, 2013 at 10:27 PM

No, probably not. Just balance balls on his nose.

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 10:25 PM

He’d have to borrow those balls from someone else.

Liam on July 17, 2013 at 10:27 PM

I do what I think is right.

Screw the gubmint.

wolly4321 on July 17, 2013 at 10:27 PM

OC- Kennedys can’t drown. Teddys liver as evidence.

wolly4321 on July 17, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Let Me C……… save sea turtles in distress……YES……

office workers ya just banged and were bring’n home…. underwater in ya car…… Not So Much

roflmmfao

donabernathy on July 17, 2013 at 10:30 PM

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

DFCtomm on July 17, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Y’all beat me to it. I’m surprised they didn’t try to copulate with it.

juliesa on July 17, 2013 at 10:36 PM

juliesa on July 17, 2013 at 10:36 PM

No evidence they didn’t.

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Mary Katharine Ham on July 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Well I have a tender spot for animals in distress. Always have. I have been in trouble with authorities over it before. With that said my decision making on such things have evolved. I no longer involve authority if possible. Too bad really. Last year I came upon a fawn that had been hit but not killed. In that instance I elected to put it down. At that same moment a DNR fellow happened by. I was as you might imagine guarded, having my weapon pulled in public to let the fawn go. Much to my surprise the DNR man okay’d me doing it. It doesn’t always work out that way. Common sense is not always common.

Bmore on July 17, 2013 at 10:37 PM

have=has

Bmore on July 17, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Y’all beat me to it. I’m surprised they didn’t try to copulate with it.

juliesa on July 17, 2013 at 10:36 PM

…well…the one does look like he’s in the missionary position………….

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Probably didn’t violate the turtle…500 pounder…way too old for any Kennedy’s to violate.

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 10:40 PM

How about….

And the wrong answer is, ‘We went in the water cheated on our taxes because the Kennedys did Treasury Secretary did,’”

PattyJ on July 17, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Bmore says- “common sense is not always common”

That cuts to the heart of it.

I’ve put animals down, and saved them too. I really don’t need gubmint assistance to figure it out.

Albeit,, my judgement can get skewed if I’m hungry.

wolly4321 on July 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM

My quibble with the authorities’ treatment of the Kennedys is that they don’t seem to be as forgiving of people who don’t belong to America’s foremost family of political royalty when they’re in the same situations.

Spot on!

Matter of fact, the Kennedys can evidently drive drunk and kill someone and also be forgiven by “the law”.

GarandFan on July 17, 2013 at 10:53 PM

They didn’t rape it, did they?

catmman on July 17, 2013 at 10:15 PM

A waitressturtle sandwich!

James on July 17, 2013 at 10:55 PM

“And the wrong answer is, ‘We went in the water because the Kennedys did,’” he said of citizen rescues.

Put your ear to the ground and you can almost hear Teddy saying “Damnit, that was the excuse I should have used!”

The “Lion of the Senate”….Sea-Lion, maybe?

BlaxPac on July 17, 2013 at 11:05 PM

I sometimes trap groundhogs that are trying to eat up my garden. I don’t like killing, so I take them out into the middle of nowhere and release them. Far from anywhere that they can bother anyone. If the game warden catches me it’s a several thousand dollar fine. I’m required by law to kill them.

Vegi on July 17, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Update: Another one to file under “Wildlife-related activities only Kennedys can do without political consequences

Could thing this wasn’t a Palin or all holey hell would have broken out and we’d never hear the end of it.

RickB on July 17, 2013 at 10:08 PM

They throw out enough spawn that they can afford to lose a few.

“Sir don’t ski that way.” “I’m a Kennedy!” Ouch, meet tree.
“Sir do you need help on the flight? John john, “Nah it’s all good.”

JFK and poor Joe from WWII seemed to be good enough fellas. After that is riff raff.

arnold ziffel on July 17, 2013 at 11:35 PM

[Mary Katharine Ham on July 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM]

I agree wholeheartedly. When minutes count, the NOAA is going to be hours away. More when it happens on a holiday.

That said, it’s outrageous that there is one law for the plebes in this country and another for the royalty.

Dusty on July 17, 2013 at 11:35 PM

Precisely.

When minutes count, NOAA and other government agencies are but hours away.

[coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 10:15 PM]

LOL. I should have looked to see that this point had already been made.

Dusty on July 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM

and you would not believe the penalties if you are caught!

[KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM]

Which is why if you feel you need to do it, just do it and don’t tell anyone. Me, I take them to my vet who has a license. He’ll take just about anything and I give a donation to his clinic for his efforts.

Dusty on July 17, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Why does the first guy sound like he’s about to cry or something?

B

preallocated on July 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM

That’s RFK Jr. I believe he has some sort of affliction – whether neurological or otherwise – that affects his speech. A few years back, he always sounded like he had laryngitis. It may be a progressive thing.

dpduq on July 17, 2013 at 11:46 PM

Only a Kennedy would say we saw something struggling in the water & saved it but in retrospect we should have let it die.

KateNE on July 17, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Too bad there wasn’t a river turtle around for Uncle Teddy.

2Tru2Tru on July 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM

That’s RFK Jr. I believe he has some sort of affliction – whether neurological or otherwise – that affects his speech. A few years back, he always sounded like he had laryngitis. It may be a progressive thing.

dpduq on July 17, 2013 at 11:46 PM

That is so sad. Just like the sadness his brother Ted has inflicted on America. I’m feeling so bad.

arnold ziffel on July 18, 2013 at 12:05 AM

Too bad there wasn’t a river turtle around for Uncle Teddy.

2Tru2Tru on July 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM

He would see if it had a hole to plug.

arnold ziffel on July 18, 2013 at 12:06 AM

Just goes to show that at just about any time, or any place, you can be hammered by the law if someone wants to try hard enough.

Sapience on July 18, 2013 at 12:06 AM

I helped a turtle get over the curb and out of the road this morning. You don’t see me posting video of it.

Flange on July 18, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Brothers Max Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are rightly being shown leniency this week for a good deed that was technically a bit overzealous in the eyes of the law:

Mary Katharine Ham

In a statement posted on NOAA’s website, Robert Kennedy expressed regret over their decision to save the animal themselves.

“When we spotted a sea turtle in trouble over the 4th of July weekend, our first impulse was to do what we could to help free the animal,” he said in the statement.

“But we realize that the action we took was pretty risky, these are large, powerful animals.”

Jason Cook, capecodonline.com

.
They did the right thing ….. to (expletive) with this “wait for the experts” line of thinking.

Also, to (expletive) with the ‘Endangered Species Act’.

listens2glenn on July 18, 2013 at 12:53 AM

Too bad Bobby saved its life. If he’d have let it drown Massachusetts voters would elect him to the Senate.

SoRight on July 18, 2013 at 12:53 AM

$500 because she saved a woodpecker? I’d send monopoly money and dare the effers to make a stink about it.

Where does government find these jackasses, I mean besides Chicago.

Bishop on July 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM

All I could ever figure out is that it’s a power trip along with the notion that they are the only people who really love and understand these animals…so keep your F-ing hands off of ‘em, scum!

In their world, it would just be them and these animals and no other humans.

Fine with me, because something faster and stronger would soon kill and eat them.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM

Nice job, boys.

bmmg39 on July 18, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Mary Jo should have been so lucky…

glcinpdx on July 18, 2013 at 1:46 AM

First of all, let me be clear that I’m in full support of members of the Kennedy clan embracing an impulse for water-based rescue missions, and always have been.

ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! :lol:

Shy Guy on July 18, 2013 at 1:49 AM

Hey, it could have been worse.

It could have been a rabbit!

Shy Guy on July 18, 2013 at 1:52 AM

I helped a turtle get over the curb and out of the road this morning. You don’t see me posting video of it.

Flange on July 18, 2013 at 12:44 AM

We here at the NSA now know who you are! Watch for the matte black windowless van arriving at your driveway…. oh…. just about now.

Shy Guy on July 18, 2013 at 1:56 AM

It sounds like he has the same thing wrong with his voice that afflicts Dianne Rehm – yes?

fourbten on July 18, 2013 at 6:13 AM

In Indiana, a man faces possible jail time for trying to rehabilitate an ailing bald eagle.

In Virginia in 2011, an 11-year-old girl was greeted by at her home by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife officer and an armed state trooper for trying to save a woodpecker. She was fined more than $500.

Also in 2011, federal authorities were intent on dragging an Idaho man to court after he killed a grizzly bear on his property to protect his children, despite the fact that he called state wildlife authorities in good faith immediately after the shooting. The charges were dropped after public outcry, but he was fined $1,000 for violating the Endangered Species Act.

And in the old days.. if you stumbled and fell into the King’s flower bed you’d be whipped in the public square. If you killed a rabbit out behind your shack to feed your starving family.. you were fined and hauled off to the dungeon. It was the King’s rabbit, not yours.

And that is exactly where we have come to once again. If it continues on, it will get worse and worse. It won’t be long before they take that child away in handcuffs for helping a woodpecker. They are already cuffing 7 year olds in our schools.

JellyToast on July 18, 2013 at 6:33 AM

This would discourage people to do anything at all about struggling wildllife caught in life threatening situations, including calling hotlines…. Why bother…I guess this idiots would have preferred not to do aything about the turtle and let it die maybe..so much about endangered species…me and my friend once saved a little seal on a N California beach, she was trapped between two heavy rocks, really heartbreaking, we called the rangers but there was nobody showing up for an hour, so we decided to try to release her ourselves and it worked ok…..no idea if sea lions are endangered species or not, and it didn’t occur to either of us to look it up on our phones, but I know I shall never attempt this again after reading this post…I guess a dead endangered species is better han a live one…it only makes sense…

jimver on July 18, 2013 at 6:36 AM

This sort of thing only encourages the three “S”-s

Shoot — Shovel — Shutup

J_Crater on July 18, 2013 at 7:35 AM

screw the endangered species act and the stupid animals it protects.

bannor on July 18, 2013 at 7:38 AM

This sort of thing only encourages the three “S”-s

Shoot — Shovel — Shutup

amen

bannor on July 18, 2013 at 7:38 AM

Just another symptom of what ails this Nation…

Common sense replaced by people with no common sense yet possessed of faux outrage and a penchant for control. There oughta be a law…

Well, no, there needn’t be a law for every possibility.

I do not need a law telling me that it is wrong for me to walk next door and put 20 slugs into my neighbor’s chest…I do not need a law telling me that I should not text while driving…or should not steal my neighbor’s new Mercedes (mine is getting a bit old)…civilized societies (truly civilized societies) do not require this sort of coercion.

Reasonable, educated people handle all sorts of temptations daily. They also handle emergencies, life-threatening ones as well as those less vital ones, with a bit of smarts and a bit of common sense.

In this past year a good [but incredibly dumb] Samaritan was killed on a busy Interstate after he walked into a lane of fast moving traffic without flashlight, reflective vest or anything other than waving his hands…at about sunset…stupid move. There oughta be a law that makes truck drivers immediately stop when there is an accident…was one of the reactions of a neighbor of mine.

Liberals and their need to have government take care of every contingency are the root of all of this.

How did this Nation ever survive before we became a nanny state?

Must have been horrible…having to rely on your own wits, experience, education, training, and personal involvement to get by…musta been hellish.

Kennedy jokes aside…if those two boys had been around at the time, maybe Uncle Teddy might have become President…but, I digress…

These all pervasive and too often conflicting laws, which not only conflict with each other but with simple common sense, do nothing good, not one bit.

Just makes us all the more dependent on government to take care of every possible contingency…

Makes us slaves to government.

The Founders would weep.

coldwarrior on July 18, 2013 at 7:52 AM

“Experts” equal “members of a Federal Employees Union” or at least “people that we need on the government payroll because we don’t want citizens to think for themselves”.

Spartacus on July 18, 2013 at 8:07 AM

This would discourage people to do anything at all about struggling wildllife caught in life threatening situations, including calling hotlines….
jimver on July 18, 2013 at 6:36 AM

Yup. I ignore any animal in trouble I think will get me in trouble. The way I see it is that my life is not worth theirs.

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 18, 2013 at 8:18 AM

At that same moment a DNR fellow happened by.

Bmore on July 17, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Do Not Resuscitate?!?

Albeit,, my judgement can get skewed if I’m hungry.

wolly4321 on July 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Ha!

All I could ever figure out is that it’s a power trip along with the notion that they are the only people who really love and understand these animals…so keep your F-ing hands off of ‘em, scum!

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM

Exactly – it’s a technocracy. They think only the special elites can make these sorts of decisions. Everyone else doesn’t have the education to make smart choices.

GWB on July 18, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Do Not Resuscitate?!?

GWB on July 18, 2013 at 9:23 AM

In most states DNR means Department of Natural Resources. In Wisconsin it means Damn Near Russia…

The way things are going, I expect people in Russia to start saying Damn Near Wisconsin (or, Damn Near ‘Merica) when they run across bureaucracy, red tape and regulations.

In the past, I’ve rehabbed wild animal with the help of rogue veterinarians. No need to call the authorities and the animals were just fine.

Fallon on July 18, 2013 at 9:40 AM

While the story of two Kennedy brothers rescuing an entangled leatherback turtle had a happy ending, wildlife officials caution it could have easily turned tragic and should be attempted only by experts.

Oh, my. How EVER could turtles have survived all these eons without “experts?”
I have exhausted all my patience with idiots.

yesiamapirate on July 18, 2013 at 9:45 AM

This would have been awesomely kharmactic had it occurred July 18. And the turtle had been trapped in the back seat of a 68 Olds . . .

BigAlSouth on July 18, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Can’t stand any of the Kennedy’s, but I am glad they got the turtle free of the rope. Yes, it’s unfair the Kennedy’s once again got out of trouble for who they are, but at least they did the right thing for once. Maybe they will address how silly this law is.

415woman1 on July 18, 2013 at 10:14 AM

In the past, I’ve rehabbed wild animal with the help of rogue veterinarians.

Fallon on July 18, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Rogue vets?!? Oh noes! I’m picturing a vet dressed all in black, sneaking through a neighborhood (going on cat’s paws, of course) the tip of her syringe glinting in the moonlight as she seeks to vaccinate roaming cats against rabies, the sounds of Feline Nocturne playing in the background.

GWB on July 18, 2013 at 10:17 AM

While the story of two Kennedy brothers rescuing an entangled leatherback turtle had a happy ending

Why? Why I have been asking myself, does that simple phrase about the Kennedy brothers seem sooo…so tawdry?

coldwarrior on July 18, 2013 at 10:38 AM

It sounds like he has the same thing wrong with his voice that afflicts Dianne Rehm – yes?

fourbten on July 18, 2013 at 6:13 AM

Yeah, apparently something called “Spasmodic dysphonia

DarkCurrent on July 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM

I guess a dead endangered species is better han a live one…it only makes sense…

jimver on July 18, 2013 at 6:36 AM

Government logic is kinda like having windmills in your mind.

AesopFan on July 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Solution:

Shoot the entangled or attacking animal, and then don’t tell anyone.

BobMbx on July 18, 2013 at 4:56 PM

This would have been awesomely kharmactic had it occurred July 18. And the turtle had been trapped in the back seat of a 68 Olds . . .

BigAlSouth on July 18, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Kinda leads you to believe they aren’t as “Kennedy” as you might think.

BobMbx on July 18, 2013 at 4:59 PM