Goose Killed by Car in Fort Collins: Why This Is Illegal + What to Do
On Saturday (March 26), the Northern Colorado Wildlife Center (NCWC) responded to reports that a car had killed a goose on Birch Street and Wagner Drive in Fort Collins.
The non-profit, which rehabilitates and rescues sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife in Northern Colorado, described the scene on Facebook, stating that rescuers "encountered crying members of the public, the goose's hysterical mate still in the roadway trying to protect the carcass, and traffic blocking streets unsure of what to do."
Unfortunately, incidents like these happen all too often in the Choice City — and they don't come without consequences.
Why It is Illegal to Hit Geese on the Road
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Canada geese are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which makes it illegal to harm or kill them.
NCWC told Townsquare NoCo that the treaty helps to "conserve and protect [geese], and to help maintain the ecosystems that they reside in."
Despite this, the non-profit still gets around five calls a month regarding cars hitting geese in Northern Colorado.
How These Incidents Harm Geese in Northern Colorado
Car accidents are often fatal to geese because the impact of a crash can cause irreversible damage to their wings. Sadly, incidents like these affect more than just one goose.
"Goose fatalities are extremely harmful to the flock and particularly to the mate," said NCWC. "Geese are known to mate for life, and while some may eventually find another mate if one dies, many won't."
A mourning mate can cause even more accidents, as it will often stand in the road near its deceased or injured partner.
What to Do If You See Someone Hit a Goose
If you see a vehicle hit a goose, NCWC recommends reporting the make, model, color, and license plate of the car to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) or Colorado State Patrol (CSP).
"We really want people to know that they are not helpless in these situations and that there are things you can do," said the non-profit. "Most people aren't aware that it's illegal to hit these birds, and they feel traumatized when they see it happen."
You can also contact NCWC or another licensed wildlife rehabilitator to see if they can save the animal. Avoid future accidents by driving slowly and signaling to other drivers when you see geese in the road.
Thankfully, most Colorado residents are able to interact safely with wildlife. See 25 amazing wildlife photos you captured last year in the gallery below: