Fined for saving bird-of-prey … 23 years ago!

A bedridden couple of pensioners have been fined €20,000 for taking care of a bird that fell into their back yard 23 years ago.
The bird, a red kite (milvus milvus) – which is a species in danger of extinction – was injured when it landed in the yard of José Ferreira and Maria do Patrocínio, in Santa Comba Dão, near Viseu.
The couple, then in their 60s, took it in and tended its injured right wing, but the medium-sized bird of prey never recovered well enough to fly again. And so the couple kept it, in a handmade pen.
Unbeknown to the elderly duo, local GNR officers received a complaint about their keeping the bird back in 2012. It was only last month, however, that officers turned up on the couple’s doorstep with the eye-watering fine. The small print says the €20,051 fine is for “not having a licence to care for bird in danger of extinction,” reports Correio da Manhã.
“Doing good is worthless,” the couple’s daughter Luísa Antunes told CM. “My mother says that if she knew then what she knows now, she probably wouldn’t have helped the animal at all!”
According to CM, the couple is bedridden and survives on a pension of just €250 a month.
“Paying the fine is out of the question,” Luísa Antunes continued. “My parents don’t have that kind of money, and besides, they should be compensated for everything they spent over the last 23 years!”
The family is now understood to have hired a lawyer to contest the fine.