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Carmel woman searches for answers after finding goose ball

CARMEL – A Carmel woman asks “who shot a goose?” after finding an injured person.

Nancy Tatum is an animal lover, she looks forward to Canada geese calling her back home. Earlier this week, she says she found a goose that was struggling to stand.

“She couldn’t get up,” Tatum said. “She tried to get away from me and she fell. At that moment I thought it was no good, I have to put her in a crate.”

Tatum then took the goose to a local wildlife rehabilitation center and had it x-rayed. Once done, she was horrified by the result.

“X-rays showed she had pellets in her,” Tatum said. “She has four pellets in her. So she was shot.”

In 2020, several residents of the Tatum neighborhood wanted to euthanize the geese that frequented the ponds there. The problem has been resolved and the geese still inhabit the community.

Tatum wants to use that goose getting shot with a BB gun as a teachable moment.

“I want people to realize that you know you’re not supposed to hurt these birds and if it comes down to that, you can be sued,” Tatum said.

While Canada Geese are seen all over the Midwest, that was not the case just 50 years ago. According to the DNR, the Canada goose is almost extinct in the Midwest, now it is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

“As far as shooting a Canada goose, that’s technically illegal,” said Jessica Merklin, urban wildlife biologist for Indiana DNR. “You can’t do that out of season and none of our permits would allow that either.”

According to the Department of Natural Resources, one way to keep geese away from your property is to remove the nest and eggs. But you must obtain a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to remove these nests. You can find this link on

“In June and July, Canada geese moult their flight feathers so they can physically fly anywhere,” Merkling said.

As for the person who shot the goose saved by Nancy Tatum, they have a message.

“Eyes are watching…I’ll put it like that,” Tatum said.

According to the DNR, killing or attempting to kill a goose is a felony that can result in up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. If you find a goose or any wild animal in general that needs care, you should take it to a qualified wildlife rehabilitation center. Click here for a listing in Indiana.

As for the goose that Tatum found, it is currently in a wildlife rehabilitation center and is being cared for.


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