Investigators Close in on Driver Who Killed Goose Guarding Mate

Published 04/24 2014 07:30PM

Updated 04/24 2014 07:36PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Springfieldians are outraged after a local store released video of a driver targeting a pair of geese nesting in their parking lot. The driver ran over the protective male goose, swerving to kill it.

This is actually a federal violation and carries the potential for a hefty fine and jail time.

The workers at this store and now they community say they just can't believe someone could be so heartless.
Investigators are hot on the heels of this driver.

Two miles as the crow flies from goose haven Nathanael Greene Park, soon to be parents, a goose couple, went looking for other real estate.

"They wandered both of our properties for about two weeks and decided to nest right here," said Grizzly Industrial General Manager Debbie Eisner.

To the workers at Grizzly Industrial, the parking lot seemed an odd choice. But as the mom feathered her nest, the new neighbors took to each other.
Employees made signs that read "Caution Nesting Geese" and named this expectant mom Olive.

"The male goose had been really good about protecting her," said Eisner.

The nervous, soon-to-be father patroled the area around the nest.

"People would come and just watch because they are fun to watch. And that was it no one bothered them," said Eisner.

Until Sunday April 13, when Grizzly was closed and the GM took a peek at the goose couple as she drove to a nearby store.

"I looked over to see where he was standing and saw him laying down in the parking stall. Monday when I came in I started reviewing videos," explained Eisner.

What Eisner found came from a camera with a bird's eye view.

In it you see a driver behind the wheel of a Silver Dodge SUV running down the male goose, turning around and making a second pass. Though the video of this plate is blurry, what investigators have been able to uncover from sharpening and enhancing the video file is not.

"What's upsetting is that somebody would purposely run down a helpless animal," said Eisner. "It's a living animal and someone purposely ran it down. And I don't know what kind of person can actually do that it disgusts me, it disgusts everybody here. I mean we're very upset over it."

With the help of police investigators this Missouri Department of Conservation officer is tracking down the driver for this federal violation.

"If we prosecute that through state court then that will be an Class A misdemeanor which is punishable up to a one thousand dollar fine or up to a year in jail," said MDC Officer Shannon Ohrenberg. "We are basically following up leads we received from the public and information from the license of the car"

The store workers continue to care for Olive with a new sense of protectiveness.

"So after the male was killed right now," says Ohrenberg. "What we do is make sure she has food and water so she doesn't have to wander too far away from the nest."

Eisner says a well-intentioned customer dropped off bread for the goose. But, the store is feeding Olive feed appropriate for a goose.

Eisner says now the mother goose really just needs to be left in peace though they deeply appreciates the outpouring of support. The goose is also under the constant watch of 24-hour video surveillance.

Eisner says another upsetting issue is that geese mate for life.

The conservation officer says the mother and her goslings will probably fare just fine. The store is hoping for expert help in relocating the family once the babies are born. Investigators are already in contact with the Greene County Prosecutors Office and are working to locate the driver.

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