The Bizarre Saga Playing Out at a Florida Bird Sanctuary
A seabird sanctuary founder is continuing to seek donations for his nonprofit, even after being fired and replaced by his son. Now the two generations are heading to court.
Ralph Heath, 71, founded Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in 1972 as a not-for-profit corporation. Located in Indian Shores, Fla., Suncoast hit some turbulence recently when Heath’s children started taking control of the business.
In a suit filed against their father, the children claim Heath took donations from the sanctuary for personal use.
A settlement was reached September 2016. Under the new terms, Suncoast would be renamed Seaside Seabird Sanctuary and Andrew von Gotard, Heath’s son, would replace him as president and executive director.