DNR Investigating Potential Case of Animal Harassment on Black Hawk Lake

SAC COUNTY, Iowa -- It all started with a video from a concerned witness. They say a boater was intentionally driving through a flock of geese and their young on Black Hawk Lake in Sac County; now the DNR is investigating.

Katherine Thomas says she was not pleased when she saw what looked like a group of teenagers piloting their boat through the large flock of geese.

“They were pulling an inner tube and they went through, there's a bunch of geese and goslings up there, like 50 of them, and they drove right through them. At first, we thought ‘oh maybe it was an accident, maybe they didn’t notice the geese’. Then they came back and did it again,” said Thomas.

That's when Thomas pulled out her cell phone and started recording.

“It's just disappointing. I would hope people would think, even young people know that's not what you do, you don’t aim your boat at wildlife on the water anymore that you aim your car at a dog in the road,” said Thomas.

The DNR has the video and is investigating the incident.

“You definitely had some geese out there with their little ones there in the lake, a situation that looked like to me could have clearly been avoided,” said Conservation Officer Dustin Eighmy.

The DNR says they need to conduct interviews with those involved, but what was seen on video could be illegal and considered a simple misdemeanor.

“You cannot chase or harass wildlife or geese for that matter on public water,” said Eighmy.

It's unclear if any animals were injured, but if they were, the DNR says there could be more penalties.

“It possibly could be a wildlife violation because it's not a legal method of take. If they were to injure or kill a goose in that matter, they used a motorboat to kill that goose, and you're out of season. There's a long list of violations that could be funneling through that.” Said Eighmy.

The DNR says they have a good description of the boat but haven’t interviewed the people who were driving it.

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