Federally protected geese shot in Va. Beach neighborhood

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach SPCA and its wildlife rehabilitators say someone is shooting Canada Geese.

The most recently injured geese were found on Wednesday, March 5. A rehabilitator and rescuer were called out to Eagle Nest Point, not far from the Kings Grant area, when a resident noticed a goose’s wing was broken.

The goose with the broken wing and two other geese were taken in by rehabilitator Karen Roberts. She took the geese to a veterinarian and found out the goose with the broken wing had been shot multiple times with a BB gun. Roberts said the vet could see multiple BBs lodged in the goose through an x-ray.

The second goose was sick and thin, and an x-ray revealed three pellets were inside the animal. One of the pellets was removed from the upper neck. The third goose appears to be uninjured, at this point. Roberts plans to release all three, once she is through rehabilitating them.

“These geese here have been out there for weeks during these ice storms and everything, trying to survive with these bullets and pellets in them,” said Julie Coari, the rescuer who took the call about the geese last week. “And it’s just not fair to the animal, really.”

Roberts and Coari said this is one of several geese they have found injured in the same area of Virginia Beach in recent months. Just after Christmas, a goose was located on Thalia Point with an arrow through its body.

“The arrow went through the front belly and came out on the other side,” Roberts said. That goose was treated by Roberts and released. A vet said the arrow, fortunately, didn’t damage any of the bird’s vital organs.

WAVY/Liz Palka
WAVY/Liz Palka

Before the goose with the arrow, SPCA volunteers were called out for another goose with a head injury, although, it’s not clear how the injury happened.

Barbara Gipson, the Virginia Beach SPCA’s Wildlife Director, said this current case of geese getting shot is disheartening because it is localized to one area: Kings Grant.

This is not the first case of birds getting shot in Virginia Beach. In spring and summer 2014, more than a dozen birds were shot with blow darts around the city. Gipson said then the Canada goose is federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

“I understand that some people like to hunt for [birds], if it was in the season,” Coari said. “But, this is a residential neighborhood and it’s illegal.”

Roberts said they do not know who is shooting at the geese, at this point.

The SPCA has tips for humanely dealing with geese  — just click here.

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