Van keeps bringing kids to beat mother goose in Lakewood, woman says
LAKEWOOD — Township police and the state Division of Fish and Wildlife are investigating reports that children were brought to a goose nest to beat and harass the birds on a daily basis, perhaps to steal the eggs.
The incidents took place over the course of five days earlier this month near a retention pond on Cedar Bridge Avenue, according to a woman who says she saw the attacks and called police several times.
The woman, who asked that her name not be included in the story for fear of retaliation in the community, told WOBM News that her office overlooks the pond where the Canada geese are nesting.
The first time the attacks took place was about 2:15 p.m. May 13 when the woman said she heard screaming outside her office. She said she "saw a group of boys (maybe 10 of them) screaming and clapping and walking towards a goose who was flapping his wings and honking."
She said she wanted to scream at them to stop, but "they could not hear me so I went to get my phone and they left."
She said she didn't think anything of the incident at the time and "thought maybe they were walking by the pond and the goose was going after them so they were trying to make it get back."
She saw a group of boys head to the pond the next day around the same time and when she looked from her second-floor office window she saw "a smaller group of boys swinging large sticks around at the goose. Again, by the time I got my phone out they were leaving."
She said that's when she called Lakewood police who "told me that since the boys were no longer there, there wasn't much that could be done but they would send someone out to check the area."
The attacks continues for a third consecutive day, she said.
"This time I saw the big sticks make contact with the goose and noticed a second goose. After I got out of work, I drove over to where the boys were and saw that there was a nest ... As my husband drove us home, I called the police again. This time I was crying and they asked me to go back and meet an officer there. I showed the officer where the nest was and the sticks that had been used."
She said she did not see the boys on Thursday but they did return on Friday afternoon.
"This time I saw them stomping near the nest and saw them hit the mother goose so hard that she fell into the water," she said. "The geese were screaming and going towards the kids but when they would get close the kids would hit them.
"I yelled out the window, 'I hope you know what you are doing is illegal!' and the woman hurried the kids into the van. I was too far away to get a plate number."
She called the police again, who arrived a few minutes later.
"They also had animal control with them and said that she (the mother goose) didn't appear to be hurt," she said.
It is not clear why the children may have been brought to the nest.
Township police confirmed the investigation on Thursday and urged anyone with information to call Sgt. Kenneth Burdge at 732-363-0200 or the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 609-292-2965.
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