Part-time Kauai resident to pay $40K for nene killings

LIHUE (AP) — A part-time Kauai resident must pay more than $40,000 in fines for shooting and killing four of Hawaii’s endangered state birds with pellet gun.

Kauai prosecutors say an investigation by state and U.S. agencies showed that 72-year-old Steven Cookson shot four Hawaiian geese called nene (neh-neh) near his home in Kukuiula (koo-koo-EE’-oo-lah), a luxury resort development.

Prosecutors say Cookson pleaded no contest to five misdemeanor charges of taking an endangered or threatened species.

Cookson’s attorney, Michael Green, said Thursday his client just wanted to scare the birds that were defecating in his pool, yard and walkway. Green says Cookson “didn’t know a duck from a nene.”

Green says his client “humbly apologizes” to the people of Hawaii and would never hurt an endangered animal.