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Rescue/rehab of mutilated Canada geese

On 04/26/05, volunteers from Gold County Wildlife Rescue helped wardens from CA's Department of Fish & Game rescue 22 Canada Geese from a horrific situation in Loomis, CA. The birds had been trapped by the owner of an adult-care facility, and were likely facing decapitation before being fed to six dementia patients at the home. Buckets of goose eggs were also found. A bloody hatchet was taken as evidence.

The rescued birds, including a female incubating eggs on a nest and another with a recently broken wing, were rushed to International Bird Rescue Research Corp. (IBRRC) in Cordelia, CA for medical care. The bird with the broken wing had to be humanely euthanized. The geese were wild, trapped illegally after being lured onto the property. Each had one wing-tip amputated to prevent escape, and several had infections. A neighbor had alerted authorities that birds were being trapped and crippled, and then killed to feed residents at the adult-care facility. Warden Mark Jeter, who lives in the area, told reporters it was the worst case of cruelty he had seen in his almost 14-year career.

The hungry geese, who had subsisted on a diet of stale bread, feasted on goose delicacies like fresh duckweed and cracked corn while they bathed and preened in a spacious aviary with a pool. After three days of R&R, they were driven to a sanctuary were they would live out their lives. Trapping of wild Canada geese had been apparently going on for quite a while, with the total number so treated unavailable. Aaron Bendavid, a wildlife biologist and full-time volunteer for Gold Country Wildlife Rescue, said, "The tragedy is that Canada geese are migratory and they mate for life. Families have been broken up. We have no idea how many families were separated."