FAIRHOPE, AL (WALA) –

Some Fairhope residents have been alarmed at what they’ve seen at the duck ponds at the public beach.  At least two geese were spotted with what appear to be blowgun darts stuck in their heads.  One visitor took pictures of the geese and called police.

Like so many others, Lynn McAllister and her friends love going to Fairhope Beach to relax and see the wildlife.  And why not?  You never know what you’ll see.  The last thing McAllister expected to see while visiting the duck ponds over the weekend was geese that appeared to have been shot.

“I looked and there was one with a dart sticking right out the top of its head and I looked around a little further and I found another one, the one that we see today that had one stuck out of his neck,” McAllister said.  “It was alarming because it’s such a beautiful, peaceful place and then to see something so ugly right in front of your eyes, it was a shame.”

McAllister took pictures and called police, hoping they could do something about it.  Only one of the darted geese was at the park on Thursday, March 16, 2017 or possibly, the dart has fallen out of the second goose.  With the help of state wildlife authorities and Wildlife Solutions, police said they’ve been trying to track down the pair all week, but so far have had no success.

“We’ve been down there on several occasions with these different groups,” said Sgt. Craig Sawyer with Fairhope Police.  “We’ve tried to capture the goose.  It either flies away from us or when we find it, by the time that help shows up, it has disappeared.  It has just gone somewhere else.”

McAllister said she’s only seen one of the darted geese in the last couple days.  With the enticement of some food, she hasn’t had any trouble getting close to the goose with the neck tag.  There have been opportunities, but she said she’s hesitant to try and remove the dart herself.

“I would have pulled it out myself, but someone told me that that could have hurt it worse and to not do that,” McAllister explained.

Police agree and said if you are able to get close enough to the goose to take out the dart, don’t do so.  It could do more harm than good if it’s barbed.  Instead, they asked that you call local animal control or the police department.

Fairhope Police said whoever is responsible could face animal cruelty charges.  Because the geese come and go, they said they have no way of knowing if they were shot with a blowgun in Fairhope or somewhere else.  If you know anything about the incident, you’re asked to call the Fairhope Police Department.

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