On the weekend of July 4th, a grisly and unusual wildlife crime occurred in Idaho: someone mowed down a flock of Canada geese – including goslings – with a vehicle, and before the perpetrator fled the scene, decapitated many of the birds, apparently removing their heads the site.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) received a call about the geese through her Citizens against poaching hotline (opens in new tab), which members of the public can use to anonymously report injuries to wildlife in the state. The incident happened on Bloomington Bottoms Road near the town of Bloomington in Bear Lake County, according to one IDFG Statement (opens in new tab) released on July 8th. “Several” adult geese and goslings had been run over at three locations along the road, all within a range of 183 metres.
“This is such an unusual case for this agency,” Jennifer Jackson, IDFG’s regional communications manager, told Live Science in an email. Typically, Fish and Game officials issue tickets for violations that resemble fishing without a license or hunting an animal out of season, so this “horrific display of truly unusual human behavior” is well outside the norm, she said.
“It’s hard to understand why anyone could do something so horrible,” Jackson said. “Our public has expressed their contempt and disgust at this incident on social media and even in calls to our office.”
canada geese (Branta canadensis) live year-round in Idaho. It’s legal to hunt Canada geese in Idaho, “but there are rules and regulations that must be followed regarding seasons, hunting areas, required hunting licenses and permits, permitted trapping methods, restrictions, meat harvest requirements, etc.,” Jackson said . For example, hunters who capture migratory birds like geese must register with the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Harvest Information Program, which collects data on the number of active hunters and the number of birds caught each season. says the IDFG website (opens in new tab).
However, “no connections should be made between this crime and the hunt,” Jackson told Live Science. “This was the act of a wildlife abuser, not an ethical hunter.”
Under the Title 36 Code (opens in new tab) of Idaho state law the offender—or offenders—
committed multiple misdemeanors, Jackson said. In particular, they killed geese with a vehicle, which constitutes “illegal prey”; killed the geese out of season; and leave rubbish behind. Penalties for Title 36 offenses vary, but can include fines ranging from $25 to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to six months. Additionally, a person’s privileges to fish, hunt or trap can be revoked for up to three years, Jackson said.
“Note that a judge could impose a penalty for each bird killed,” she added.
Anyone with information that may be helpful to the IDFG’s ongoing investigation is encouraged to contact Senior Conservation Officer Kolby White at 208-204-3921 or Idaho’s Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at 1-800-632-5999 turn around. “Callers can remain anonymous and there are rewards for those with information leading to an arrest,” the IDFG statement said.
Originally published on Live Science.
Someone decapitated a gaggle of geese in Idaho, and wildlife officials seek answers Source link Someone decapitated a gaggle of geese in Idaho, and wildlife officials seek answers