The birds at a Huntington Beach park have had a rough holiday season, and a local wildlife rescue center has had to handle the unfortunate events.
At around the same time the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center received a call about two birds that had been found drugged after consuming pills scattered on the grass at Carr Park, the rescue group received another call about a goose roaming the park with an arrow through the base of its neck.
While the first two birds — a Canada goose and a ring-billed gull — were getting IV fluids and supplements to flush the drugs from their system, rescuers were busy trying to catch the goose that had been shot.
The bird flew around with a large arrow through its neck for about a week before it was captured Thursday, said Lisa Peronne, wildlife manager at the rescue center, which is also in Huntington Beach.
The projectile missed the bird’s muscle, but the wound became infected. The shaft of the arrow — the kind used for recreational target practice, not professional hunting — was removed, and the goose was given antibiotics, IV fluids and painkillers, Peronne said.
“Friday, he wasn’t able to stand,” Peronne said, “and Saturday, he started to crash.”
The bird went into shock as he was handled by rescuers, so they allowed him to rest in a quiet area, where he began making a slow and steady recovery. By Sunday, the bird was eating and walking around.
In the last several years, the rescue center has received similar calls of birds being shot with arrows. But treating intoxicated birds was a first for the group, Peronne said. The drugged Canada goose was released Wednesday, the day before the second goose came in, and the ring-billed gull will be released this week.
Peronne said rescuers didn’t know whether the two incidents were related.