MALABAR, Fla. — A Malabar man is fighting to better protect sandhill cranes in his town after two birds were hit and killed by a car near his home.
- Man wants Malabar to be sandhill crane sanctuary town
- 2 birds recently struck, killed walking on street with young
- RELATED: After Driver Strikes, Kills Sandhill Cranes, Good Samaritan Helps Save Baby Bird
It was 25 years ago when photographer Lloyd Behrendt became fascinated with sandhill cranes. He sees families of the birds all the time.
"They are constantly walking the streets, getting their kids used to the neighborhood," Behrendt said.
Much of his day is spent down his dirt road overlooking a marsh. And he never forgets his camera, trying to get some candid shots of the crane family that lives there.
When Behrendt heard about two other cranes getting hit and killed by a car in front of their baby on Malabar Road a couple of weeks ago, he said it was time to act.
The family has just strolled right in front of him on his Malabar property.
"It was two parents, and two sandhill crane chicks, just bee-bopping through the yard," he said. "How can you not see two 5-foot birds?" he asked. "People hit and run. They don't stay, they go."
Fortunately, the baby crane was saved by a good Samaritan and local firefighters.
But their deaths sparked an idea: Why not make Malabar a sandhill crane sanctuary? Under the proposal, people who hurt the cranes could face fines or community service.
He hopes perhaps cameras could be installed to take pictures of license plates as drivers come into town.
"When cranes are killed on Malabar Road, I'm thinking those could be my buddies," Behrendt said — buddies who he hopes to keep safe.
Behrendt plans to present his proposal to the Malabar Town Council at a meeting Monday night.