Military and law enforcement aren’t the only groups who use drone technology. There is an animal rights group called SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) who use drones to spy on pigeon hunters. At one such event in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, their surveillance drone got shot down, and about $4,000 worth of damage was done. A local NBC affiliate reports:
“[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 drone, nicknamed ‘Angel,’ was recording a live pigeon shoot on Sunday around 3 p.m. when investigators say it was suddenly struck by gunfire.”
They had it coming. This wasn’t the first time they tried spying on hunters. Earlier this year in February, they went on private property in South Carolina where a pigeon shoot was going on and the same thing happened. The shoot had ended around noon, and most of the shooters had already left. According to TheTandD.com, SHARK were told not to fly their drone:
“Steve Hindi, president of SHARK, said his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying.”
It turned out that while this group was protesting the shooting of live pigeons, these shooters weren’t even shooting at live pigeons, but at clay pigeons. The animal rights group decided to fly their drone anyway. Evidently, there were still some shooters left because their drone got shot and caused a few hundred dollars worth of damage.
As with many other “rights” groups, their money comes from donations, and this is what they’re spending donations on…drones that will inevitably get shot down by skilled shooters. Not only are they in violation of FAA rules, they’re in violation of private property rights. I hope they get sued for trespassing.