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from The Indianapolis Star


Cop kills goose that pecked his dog

Officer faces possible 1-day suspension for killing aggressive bird trying to protect its nest.

April 30, 2003

The seesawing Indianapolis feud between humans and Canada geese has escalated again, this time after an angry bird pecked a fight with the wrong man.

Indianapolis Police Officer Mitch Waters was letting his K-9 partner take care of business when a goose, trying to protect a nearby nest, swooped over a fence and nipped at the dog's nose.

Waters opened fire.

"He did what he thought he had to do to protect his dog," said spokesman Lt. Paul Ciesielski of the Indianapolis Police Department.

The goose did not survive.

Now Waters could be in trouble, too. His supervisor has recommended a one-day suspension for unnecessary use of a firearm in the April 13 shooting.

The recommendation will be considered by an IPD firearms review board and possibly by Chief Jerry Barker.

Waters couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

Canada geese, estimated at more than 100,000 in the state, have found Indiana a great place to settle down and raise families.

But they are messy and highly aggressive around their nests -- traits that sparked several run-ins this month.

Two condo owners were investigated after allegedly destroying nests, and a Plainfield man was treated at a hospital after being knocked to the ground and pecked bloody by two geese guarding their eggs.

The birds have become such a headache that state officials persuaded federal authorities to grant 1,800 permits to destroy goose nests this year.

The permits let eggs be destroyed but don't allow killing of adult birds

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