At least two Canada geese have been found alive with arrows sticking through their bodies north of Toronto.
The pair of geese were spotted by a Cumberland Beach resident on Lake Couchiching, just north of Orillia. Some residents reported seeing one of the geese with an arrow sticking out of its body as early as May.
The Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club (OFGCC) was able to trap one of the birds on July 31 and take it to a local wildlife shelter.
The second bird was captured on Tuesday by a group of residents, who also transported the injured goose to the same shelter in Pefferlaw, Ont.
Doctors at Shades of Hope Wildlife Rescue operated on both birds.
“They were feisty,” shelter representative Aaron Quattrociocchi said, describing the birds as undernourished but mobile.
The first goose was found with an arrow sticking straight through its body. The animal underwent surgery to repair a punctured lung and to close the wounds. Quattrociocchi said the arrow just missed the bird’s spine.
The bird also suffered cardiac arrest while on the operating table but was revived.
It remains unclear if the bird will be able to fly again as part of its wing was also damaged by the arrow.
The second goose was found with an arrow through its back and exiting its breast. That bird also underwent successful surgery and should make a full recovery within a couple of weeks.
Quattrociocchi reported that second bird was found with two bullets lodged in its body. The bullets appeared to have been from a previous incident and could not be removed because they were located in sensitive areas.
The president of the OFGCC called the incident “inhumane” and believes the injuries suffered by the geese were likely caused by a resident fed up with the birds being on their property.
“The conservationists in the area are upset,” Gord Pye said. “There are many ways to dissuade geese from coming on their lawns.”
Hunting season for birds and fowl does not open until September.
“We would like to see whoever is responsible charged,” he said.
Several law enforcement and environmental agencies have been notified of the incident and are investigating.
“Environment and Climate Change Canada is aware of the matter through two referrals received from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry,” Mark Johnson of the Canadian Wildlife Service said. “If a suspect were identified there are penalties under the Migratory Birds Regulations, made pursuant to the Migratory Birds Convention Act.”
If an individual was identified and convicted of injuring the animals, they could face a fine up to $1 million and a maximum of three years in jail.
Anyone with information is recommended to contact Environment and Climate Change Canada at 905-336-6410 or to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.