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Goose with dart rescued in C.R. roundup

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CEDAR RAPIDS — One goose may be especially glad about the city’s annual goose roundup and relocation.

On Wednesday, the roundup netted 310 geese, including the headline-grabbing adult goose that two weeks ago survived a dart to the neck from a prankster.

City officials made a brief attempt to nab the goose then, but Daniel Gibbins, the city’s parks superintendent, said capturing the injured goose was nearly impossible because the adults had not shed their flight feathers as a prelude to growing new ones.

Gibbins said he hoped the goose with the dart sticking out of its neck might be found and rounded up when flight feathers were gone at the time of Wednesday’s annual effort to reduce the overpopulation of giant Canada geese here. And his hope was fulfilled.

Gail Loskill, communications coordinator for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, said that Brent Neighbors, Ellis Park supervisor, gently extracted the dart once the goose was captured in the roundup.

Tim Thompson, biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said the goose appeared to be fine after the dart removal. He said the goose and 135 other adult birds were being relocated to 12 Mile Lake in southwest Iowa, while 174 young geese born this year were taken to the Hawkeye Wildlife Management Area in Johnson County.

Young geese often make their home where they first learn to fly, he said.

Most of the geese herded into nets for relocation in the joint city-DNR exercise Wednesday came from the Robbins Lake area in Ellis Park, while some were picked up from Ellis and Jones golf courses, Thompson said. He said an effort to round up geese at the McGrath Amphitheatre across from downtown proved unsuccessful.

A year ago, the roundup collected 264 geese, and the year before that, 523, according to DNR figures.

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