Outrage spread this week after two of Matiatia’s resident geese died after allegedly being hit by a car.
Police say they received several reports that the geese had died in the front car park near the ferry terminal on the morning of Saturday 25 September.
Sergeant Raymond Matthews says police have identified a van and are speaking with witnesses.
“We have a very strong line of enquiry. We have located the van and found forensic evidence on it, including feathers.”
Sgt Matthews says that if someone is arrested for the incident, they will face a cruelty to animals charge. This offence comes with a maximum $100,000 fine and five years’ imprisonment.
“I understand people’s heightened upset and anger around this, but at the end of the day, please have faith in the system. Police take this offending very seriously.”
On Saturday, taxi driver Paul Gibbes was parked at the taxi stand when the drama played out.
“It was shocking. People are usually really courteous driving in the area and so many people put in an effort to look after those geese and the ducks that live at Matiatia.”
Gibbes says other people were nearby when the incident happened; one onlooker called police and another phoned Inga Muller of Waiheke Wildlife Rescue.
Muller says it’s likely that the two male geese were killed instantly. She removed the dead geese from the scene and says the males left three females behind.
“I was shocked. So many people adored the geese there.” •Sophie Boladeras
Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!