NBC10 Philadelphia - Doug Shimell
Animal rights group SHARK says they were using a remote controlled drone to film a live pigeon shoot, when someone at a Berks County hunting club shot the device down. NBC10's Doug Shimell.
Police are investigating an incident at a Berks County hunting club in which someone on the hunting grounds allegedly targeted a mechanical flying object rather than a living and breathing one.
SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) are in the midst of a campaign against the Wing Pointe commercial hunting grounds in Hamburg, Berks County and its live pigeon shoots in which the birds are shot down. SHARK began to use an “Octocopter,” a remote controlled flying machine with a high tech video camera, to secretly record the pigeon shoots as they happen.
"The pigeon shooters are basically going into hiding," said Steve Hindi, president of SHARK. "So they're using a ring that's up a hill and completely surrounded by trees. So the only way you can get to it is through the air."
The drone, nicknamed “Angel,” was recording a live pigeon shoot on Sunday around 3 p.m. when investigators say it was suddenly struck by gunfire.
SHARK claimed “a single sharp rifle crack rang out,” in a press release sent out on Monday. The group says the camera’s video feed was terminated and the drone went out of control before it was manually brought down. The gunshot caused around $4,000 in damage to the camera, according to SHARK.
State Police are investigating the incident. SHARK claims this is the fourth time the drone has been shot at while trying to spy on what they claim are inhumane pigeon shoots.
"When they do this, it only makes us more determined," said Hindi. "We are going to see these pigeon shoots stopped."
NBC10 is currently trying to contact Wing Pointe for comment and are waiting for a response. NBC10 also spoke with the Berks County's District Attorney. He told us the pigeon shoots are legal and that he also wants to find a way to put a stop to what he considers a "potentially deadly cat and mouse game" between SHARK and Wing Pointe.