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State Officials Investigating After Multiple Geese Shot With Blow Darts In Natomas Area

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Four geese were shot with an illegal blow dart in the Natomas area. Wildlife experts say it's a disturbing trend that seems to be growing.

"We've got cormorants, we've got the snowy egrets," Michele Dodge said.

Dodge is a wildlife capture specialist that frequents this public pond off of Truxel Road in Natomas.

"I've actually been out here several times tracking the injured geese," she said.

In the last few weeks, Dodge has helped rescue several Canada geese who were shot with blow darts and transported them to Gold Country Wildlife Rescue in Auburn.

On Friday, one of her colleagues at Gold Country Wildlife Rescue, Ben Nuckolls, used a net gun to catch one of the birds in a nearby drainage canal.

"Blow darts are illegal and for good reason. They have razor edges on the dart itself," said Christy Berger, who also works at Gold Country Wildlife Rescue.

Two geese are still recovering after receiving medical treatment. Two didn't survive.

"One died during transit, so the dart probably hit a blood vessel while it was being transported even though we were being careful," Berger said. "The other had to be euthanized because it had a broken shoulder as well and an injured leg."

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating what appears to be a pattern.

"It's happened here and there in a couple of other places," Berger said.

"Not only were the geese darted, we actually saw a darted duck. So it's definitely a problem out here," Dodge said.

And knowing it's happening right next to apartments in a residential area has wildlife enthusiasts concerned.

"Generally, if someone is terrorizing animals and hurting animals, they do often escalate," Dodge said. "So we don't know if it's going to escalate to someone chasing down people's pets or children."

The state said this is punishable with fines.

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