The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

June 8, 2014

Ask Us: Reader says police, DNR don't give a honk

Q: It really concerns me how insensitive our law enforcement and DNR are. There is a goose with a broken wing sitting on a drain pipe on Lion Lake. You think anyone would rescue it or even come take a look? No.

Now it has been there two days, poor thing, still no help. I know you’ll say, “Just a goose,” but would you let your dog, cat or child have an injured limb! I did call 911, got a dispatcher with a very bad attitude who eventually connected me with the DNR, who didn’t have a clue where Lion Lake was in Mankato. But it appears they are going to let it die in the lake. ... Nice job police department and DNR.

A: This question arrived on April 26, once again proving that Ask Us Guy is not the one to turn to in matters of life and death. He did move the question up the list but also took some days off and otherwise dallied in getting this question to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. So, apologies to the goose ... .

DNR information officer Scott W. Roemhildt, by contrast, responded very quickly once he received the question.

“Many reports of wildlife acting strangely are simply healthy animals exhibiting unique behaviors,” Roemhildt wrote. “However, even if an animal is in distress, trying to rescue it can often do more harm than good. A prolonged struggle or chase with an animal that appears sick, injured or orphaned, can put both the animal and human rescuers at risk. If the animal is able to flee when approached by a human (especially flying or swimming wildlife), it is best to leave it alone.

“That being said, there are permitted rehabilitators across the state who may be able to help in some cases. A full list is available at www.mndnr.gov/eco/nongame/rehabilitation/rehabers_list.pdf. Rehabilitation can be difficult, expensive and has varying degrees of success. Nearly all rehabbers rely on donations to support their costs. Unlicensed citizens may not attempt to rehabilitate or raise an animal on their own but may be able to volunteer for a permitted rehabilitator.

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