5 black skimmers, endangered state birds, intentionally run over on Marco Island

Reporter: Chris Cifatte Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Five black skimmers, an endangered species, were intentionally run over and killed by a Marriot employee in a golf cart. Responding to the report, Marco Island police went to the beach area in front of 400 South Collier Boulevard on Monday.

Florida Fish and Wildlife will handle the investigation with the assistance, if needed, of The Marco Island Police Department.

The endangered birds were killed on the beach right outside the JW Marriott Hotel.

JM Marriott on Marco Island. CREDIT: WINK News

WINK News spoke with Canadian vacationer Jennifer Gingrich, who witnessed the aftermath.

“We noticed the caution tape going up, and then a bunch of police cars arriving and heard that the five birds had… that were banned had been hit,” Gingrich said.

Marco Island police say the Marriott employee was driving the cart recklessly.

“It’s a bit surprising, because I know they’re a protected species, and I just hope that they… You know, not sure what happened, but I hope that it wasn’t any intent in it or anything like that. You hope that everyone is OK, and it’s sad that the birds got hit and they died,” Gingrich said.

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