Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Oct. 2, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla.- A skeleton crew of federal park rangers is still at work on Sanibel island.
Even though Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is the latest victim of the shutdown...the few employees left are extremely busy.
That's because some visitors refuse to accept the park is closed.
They are still trying to walk the nature trails and check out the wildlife.
Park Manager Paul Tritaik says "well people that are walking through... you know that are just not paying attention to our signs. we're having to remind them that we are closed and they are not supposed to be here."
So far, rangers aren't writing any tickets.
But some people are allowed on the refuge.
There are about a dozen volunteers and interns who actually live there.
Titaik says "of course they can't work... but were not going to kick them out. they'll continue to live on the refuge... but hopefully this will pass soon."
Also, there is the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation laboratory.
They're in the middle of a large scale study on the dying sea grass beds in Southwest Florida.
Its simply too big for them to move.
But scientists are getting 15 minutes each morning to cross the gate and complete the experiment - which will end this week.
Director the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Eric Milbrandt says "they could have said - you know that too bad... your experiment is going to have to start over but given the circumstances... they've gone out of their way to help."
Just this week, the scientific team observed red tide in Sarasota, but right now they don't have any of the necessary equipment and tools needed to check for red tide in this area.
For these scientists, this shut down can't end soon enough.