ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - An animal rights group says it tried to launch a remote-controlled aircraft to take videos of a pigeon shoot in South Carolina, but the aircraft apparently was shot down.
Steve Hindi with Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) says his group wanted to videotape a pigeon shoot at the Broxton Bridge Plantation near Ehrhardt.
On Sunday, when SHARK began to prepare to launch the aircraft, both the police and a lawyer who said he represented the plantation showed up and tried to stop the group from flying its aircraft, Hindi said.
What they were doing was deemed to be legal, according to Hindi, and they continued on with their planned videotaping.
"Once they knew nothing was going to stop us, the shooting stopped and the cars lined up to leave," said Hindi. "These people had no problem wounding and killing birds for pleasure, but as soon as the spotlight turned to them, they ran away. We decided to send the copter up anyway. Seconds after it hit the air numerous shots rang out. As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter."
A report filed by the group with the Colleton County Sheriff's Department says the aircraft was hovering near U.S. 601 when it was shot at and crashed near the road. The deputy that took the report says he was unable to speak with anyone at the plantation following the crash.
The Department of Natural Resources says live bird shoots are legal in South Carolina, but SHARK asked the governor to step in.
Nobody from Broxton Bridge has commented on the incident.
Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.