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Geese found beheaded on Vista Hills golf course

The pond at Vista Hills Golf Course in El Paso, Texas. (KFOX14/CBS4)
The pond at Vista Hills Golf Course in El Paso, Texas. (KFOX14/CBS4)
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Residents living near an east El Paso golf course said someone is beheading geese that nest there.

A pond on the grounds of the Vista Hills golf course is home to ducks, domestic geese and Canada geese.

Neighbors said they found two Canada geese dead near the pond and not from natural causes.

“A lot of the Canada geese nest here,” Julie Ito Morales, Texas wildlife rehabilitator at Stick House sanctuary, said.

The wildlife that roam the course and pond seem to no longer be safe.

“I have started to kind of take it upon myself to buy food for the geese,” Zabrina Gomez said

Gomez, who lives near the pond, said Saturday morning’s feed turned into the scene of a wildlife crime.

“I noticed there was this big goose lying down with its legs tucked underneath,” Gomez said.

Lying dead was a Canada goose with its head detached.

“They’re protected through the migratory bird treaty,” Ito Morales said.

Ito Morales said that harming or harassing Canada geese or their young is a federal crime.

“They’re protected from Canada down to Mexico,” Ito Morales said. “Obviously, this bird has been harmed.”

Gomez said that the harming of other geese and ducks isn’t a first for the area.

“Either the golfers had hit [a goose] with a club or with a cart,” Gomez said.

According to Ito Morales, this same crime was an issue in a different part of city a few years ago.

“This has happened before at Ascarate lake,” Ito Morales said.

Gomez said the El Paso Police Department has launched an investigation.

El Paso police said they couldn’t provide any information Monday because of the Memorial Day federal holiday.

Ito Morales said she’s contacted Texas Game Wardens about the deaths.

According to federal law, anyone convicted for harming a Canada goose could be fined or sentenced up to two years in jail.

A community program made of neighbors that surround the golf course, the Good Neighbor Program, is offering a reward of $1,000 to anyone who helps find the person responsible.


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