Wildlife officials need help solving a mystery: Animals in the Colorado Springs area are being attacked by people shooting blow darts at them.
One rabbit has died, while several ducks, geese, squirrels and other animals have been injured in the attacks, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Office said Wednesday in a press release.
“This is illegal harassment of wildlife,” Frank McGee, the department’s area wildlife manager, said in a statement. “It’s something we take very seriously. But we need the public’s help catching whoever is doing this.”
The attacks have targeted ducks at Willow Springs in Fountain, rabbits at Quail Lake in a south Colorado Springs neighborhood and a goose at Sinton Pond near Interstate 25 and Fillmore Street in Colorado Springs.
On Tuesday, a goose at Kissing Camels Golf Course – on the city’s west side – was found with a dart stuck in its neck, officials said. The goose survived and has been seen nursing its goslings, even with the dart still in its neck.
In the statement, McGee said anyone found injuring or killing animals with a blow dart could face misdemeanor offenses, including harassment of wildlife, hunting small game without a license, illegal taking of wildlife and hunting out of season. Possible fines range from $50 to $100 or more.
Anyone within information about the attacks is asked to contact the wildlife office at 719-227-5200, the Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648 by dialing #OGT from a Verizon cellphone or email email@example.com.
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