Toronto Police are searching for a man who brutally attacked a mother goose nesting in a commercial park near Steeles and Keele on April 15.
A witness said she saw a man kick the goose and reach for its neck before she was able to intervene. The attack was obscured in security footage by a parked car, but the man is seen walking slowly toward the goose nest before the witness steps in to stop a “horrible” and “heart-wrenching” scene.
Police are investigating. If caught, the man could face federal prosecution for disturbing a protected migratory bird and its nest, on top of animal cruelty charges.
“We deal with injured animals all the time, but this was a really hard one,” said Nathalie Karvonen, executive director of the Toronto Wildlife Centre, which dispatched staff to tend to the injured bird after witnesses called its emergency hotline.
“It is just a sickening level of cruelty for an animal that was sitting there incubating her eggs.”
During emergency surgery, veterinarians determined the injuries were too severe, and the animal was euthanized.
“After the attack, the mother pulled herself back up onto her eggs even though her neck was broken,” Karvonen said. “It’s horrible.”
A goose’s eggs need to be kept warm and turned constantly, Karvonen said, but the centre doesn’t have the type of specialized incubator that could have saved the dead mother’s babies.
“We received reports that the male goose came back to the area for at least four days afterward to see if she would turn up again.”
Photo credit: File photo