Canada goose shot and killed in Waterloo | CTV Kitchener News canada goose ontario

Canada goose shot and killed in Waterloo


CTV Kitchener
Published Thursday, November 8, 2012 11:30AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 8, 2012 6:24PM EST

Waterloo Region police and Environment Canada are investigating after a Canada goose was shot and killed near Columbia Lake on Tuesday.

Police were called to the area on the University of Waterloo campus around 4 p.m. after reports of a gunshot.

During a search of the area police say a Canada goose with a single gunshot wound, likely from a rifle, was found about 25 metres north of the lake.

No suspects were located and no vehicles were seen in the area at the time.

Canada geese are protected birds, though they can be hunted during the right season, with the right permits and not inside the city limits.

But police say they are more concerned about a rifle being fired in such a populated area.

WRPS Insp. Kevin Thaler says “Perhaps the greater concern here is actually for community safety…the danger is obviously to the public with firearms being fired within city limits, [in] proximity to schools, kids, houses.”

Whoever fired the weapon could face a fine of up to $5,000 for breaking a City of Waterloo bylaw that prohibits firing a gun within city limits.

They could also be charged criminally for the careless use of a firearm.

George Wagner of Shooter’s Choice, a gun store and shooting range in Waterloo, says they take this incident very seriously.

Wagner has been hunting for 50 years, but says “I would report my own brother for breaking a game law or a firearms law…that’s just stupidity. There’s nothing else that can account for that if this in fact took place the way it sounds like it did.”

He adds that it’s illegal to shoot migratory birds with a rifle.

The shooting has garnered mixed reaction from Waterloo residents, but even most of those who think geese are a nuisance, believe it’s going too far.

Police are asking anyone who may have information on the incident to contact them.


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      Canada Goose

Canada geese in flight

Common Name:
Canada Goose

Scientific Name:
Branta canadensis

Favorite Honky-tonks:
Golf courses and suburban lake developments

 

You wouldn't know it to look around today, but the Canada Goose was once an uncommon bird.  In particular, the subspecies known as the giant Canada Goose was considered extinct until a few remnant populations were discovered in the early 1960's.  Over-hunting and destruction of wetlands had driven them to the brink.    Improved game management practices and extensive re-introduction programs were begun to stabilize the subspecies and today it is doing fine.  Originally a North American bird, the Canada Goose has also been transplanted successfully to Britain and Scandinavia.  A 1991 census recorded 63,581 in the United Kingdom. 

Depending on who you talk to, there are up to eleven subspecies of Canada Goose.   The largest is the giant, with a wingspan of 6 feet and weighing up to 20 pounds.   Among North American waterfowl, only the swans are larger.  The smallest version is the so-called "cackling" goose, which weighs only 2-4 pounds.   (This is now considered a separate species.)  The giant Canada Goose is native to the Great Plains.  It is unique in being non-migratory, at least in comparison to the other subspecies.  The other subspecies nest from southern Canada up to the high Arctic tundra, and travel long distances in their annual migration.  If the winter is mild, the giant may not leave its nesting area at all.

When they do travel, Canada Geese stay in family groups.  The parents fly with the young of the year.  If you watch a large flock of geese come in for a landing, you can often see the different family units peel off in smaller clusters before they alight.

 

       The family bond begins at the nest.  Canada Geese mate for life.  In Kansas, they begin to build their nest as early as mid-March.    The nest is a large mound of vegetation such as grass and cattail stems lined with down.  It is usually located within sight of water.
      Canada Geese will also use nesting platforms provided by people.   If you have a pond and want to make one of these, you can download plans here.
      4 to 7 eggs make up a typical clutch and incubation is done solely by the female.    The male (gander) zealously guards the nest and will attack any intruders.   Incubation takes 25 to 30 days and the goslings are led to water within a day after hatching.

Protective mother goose
A protective mother with her new brood.

 

After hatching, there is an amazing change in the attitude of the gander.  Where he would previously chase off any other geese in the area, he now becomes much more tolerant of them.  Indeed, if there are other clutches of goslings in the area, they will often group together in flocks called "cr

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Canada goose shot and killed in Waterl