Several ducks and geese in an Idaho park are swimming stuck with blow darts, some in their heads, while the culprit who shot the animals remains at large, authorities said.
Calls started coming in Wednesday night about wounded animals at Julia Davis Park, a large park in downtown Boise.
Since then, wildlife officials know of at least four ducks and two geese hit by the darts. One of those geese has been caught to be treated, Toby Boudreau of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game told KTVB-TV.
Jennifer Rockwell, director of the Ruth Melichar Bird Center in Boise, told KTVB-TV that she got similar calls about Canadian geese last week and rescued one with a dart in its wing.
Rockwell, whose center rehabilitates birds, said the birds are definitely “experiencing pain.”
“It’s painful if it’s obstructing an area in the esophagus where they eat. It’s going to cause problems, if it’s obstructing the wing muscle it’s going to cause problems with flight. It’s very painful,” Rockwell said.
While no arrests have been made, Boise police are aware of the situation, the Idaho Statesman reported. If caught, the person could be face misdemeanor charges, Boudreau said.
“These birds are protected by U.S. Fish and Wildlife, this is illegal, this is animal cruelty,” Rockwell said.
It’s also illegal to shoot a blow dart within Boise city limits.
Contributing: Gretchen Parsons, KTVB-TV in Boise. Follow Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller.
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