Wildlife officials in Idaho are scratching their heads over an "unusual case" involving a gaggle of dead geese. A release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking for the public's health in IDing the person or persons who, sometime over the Fourth of July weekend, apparently mowed down "multiple adult Canada geese" and their unable-to-fly goslings with their vehicle, at three different spots along a 200-yard span of Bloomington Bottoms Road, near Bloomington. Not only that: "The heads of many of the dead geese were removed and taken from the scene," the release goes on to note, showing pics of some of the decapitated birds (warning: graphic).
The department says it learned of the geese after a tipster called the Citizens Against Poaching hotline, per Live Science. "This is such an unusual case for this agency," IDFG spokeswoman Jennifer Jackson tells the outlet, calling it a "horrible display of truly unusual human behavior." And it definitely was carried out by a human: Jackson tells KSL that the cuts made to sever the goose heads were too precise to have been done by an animal. She adds that hunting Canada geese is legal in the state, following certain well-spelled-out rules, but that it's clear a hunting trip was not what took place here. "This was the act of a wildlife violator, not that of an ethical hunter," she tells Live Science.
She notes that whoever's responsible could be facing several misdemeanor charges, including killing the geese illegally (i.e., with some kind of vehicle), killing the geese outside of the legal hunting season; and leaving waste behind. If convicted, the perp, or perps, could see up to six months behind bars, a fine of up to $1,000, and a possible three-year revocation of their hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges. "It's hard to fathom why someone could do such an awful thing," Jackson says, adding that locals have been "expressing their disdain and disgust" at what happened. The IDFG is asking anyone with information to call a conservation officer at 208-204-3921, or the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 800-632-5999. Calls can be made anonymously, though the department says there will be a reward for any info that leads to an arrest. (Read more geese stories.)