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YouTube Video Of Owl-Kicking Paraglider Prompts Investigation
You'd think someone whose sport of choice is flying through the air would have respect for birds, but one paramotorist is catching heat after a video of him chasing and kicking an owl mid-air was uploaded to YouTube.
The man in the video doggedly pursued a Barn Owl in flight for more than seven minutes, kicking it several times as it flew over the landscape near Utah Lake. He then proceeded to brag about it, yelling, "I kicked an owl butt" in a taunting voice and asking, "Who's the predator now?"
But federal and state wildlife officials aren't smiling: since migratory birds are protected under federal law, officials are currently determining if the video warrants prosecution. They have a hunch the man in the video is Dell "Superdell" Schanze, a paramotorist who was arrested in 2011 after posting a video that showed him taking off from a historic monument in Oregon. I guess some people just never learn.
"I've gotten to know many pilots in the paragliding and powered paragliding community and I've found them to be some of the most considerate and conscientious fliers in aviation," says our resident commercial and paragliding pilot, as well as "Cockpit Chronicles" columnist, Kent Wien. "But there's always one, and I suppose every community has their own Dell 'Superdell' Shanze."
The YouTube video has since been removed, but more than 50,000 people caught it during the four days it was online. Segments of it can be found in news reports online and on Facebook.