Wildlife officers in Alberta investigate after close to 100 geese found dead

TABER, Alta. — Alberta wildlife officials are investigating the discovery of close to 100 dead geese apparently dumped on a family's farm.

Twyla Valgardson says her husband Wayne was driving through their property near Taber on Wednesday when he noticed some dead birds scattered in the snow.

She says when he investigated further, he realized there were likely several dozen.

When he called provincial wardens they told him there had been a report about dead birds the day before, but the person hadn't said how many there were.

Wildlife officials say in a Facebook post that 85 Canada geese and five snow geese were collected near the intersection of two local roads about 18 kilometres north of the town.

The post says some meat was taken from 24 of the birds, but no meat at all was taken from the rest and all the birds were either partially or entirely buried in the snow.

"We have a lot of good hunters in the area. A lot of people ask permission. My husband hunts, my whole family hunts, and all of our family is totally appalled by it," Valgardson said.

"So hunters, I don't think would do that. Not a sensible hunter, anyhow."

Valgdarson said her husband also found more geese further away that had been taken away by coyotes. Combined with the ones that he and the warden had placed in a pile, she said there were easily 100 dead birds.

She said she believes the birds were killed somewhere else and dumped on their property, and said the snow that covered them appeared to have been kicked there.

Neighbours told her they had heard a lot of gunshots in the last while, but it's hunting season, so she said it's hard to know if any of it was connected with the dumped geese.

"It's sad. It's disheartening to think of so much waste," Valgardson said.

The Facebook post from enforcement officials says it is an offence under the Wildlife Act to abandon the edible flesh of game species. They note that geese can be hunted legally in season, but that it's strictly regulated, similar to other game animals.

The post asks that anyone with information that could help with the investigation should contact the Report A Poacher line.

The Canadian Press

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