Snow Goose Treated for Gunshot Wound

Community Contributed

By Arleone Dibben-Young

An endangered Snow Goose that has been visiting Molokai was shot last week. On Sunday morning, Nov. 27, the Snow Goose was determined to have received a through-and-through gunshot wound to the head. It survived the shot.

Federal law enforcement officers were alerted of the incident, and fliers were posted on the bulletin boards in town asking assistance from Molokai residents. Rudy DelaCruz with security at Hotel Molokai captured the injured bird Thursday evening so that it could receive medical care. The following morning, it was examined by Molokai Humane Society veterinarian Dr. Eric Jayne and Kathy Coelho, treated and placed on a recovery regime, and placed with Nene O Molokai for rehabilitation.

The recovery is expected to take about a month. Because Molokai’s Snow Goose could be approached within a few feet, it is suspected that it was hatched in a remote area of Siberia or Alaska where humans and vehicles are not present. The birds are rarely seen on Molokai, and typically migrate down the coastline via the western North American flyway to wintering grounds. The goose, a female about eight months old, frequented the Hotel Molokai swimming pool during the week that she had been observed on Molokai.

The Snow Goose is protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Hawaii State laws. Guilty offences constitute a felony and violators may be fined up to $100,000 and up to two years in jail.

Mahalo nui to the caring Molokai Police officers, Hotel Molokai staff, and the over 50 Molokai residents that called with information as to its whereabouts as it grazed along Kamehameha V Hwy from Kaunakakai to Kawela. Following recovery she will be banded and released at an undisclosed location.

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