Wildlife officials are investigating a report that a golfer used a golf club to kill a bird at a private course in Winnipeg. The golf course’s general manager confirmed that a dead goose was removed, but stressed that the club did not condone the incident.
Wildlife officials are investigating a report that a golfer used a club to kill a Canada goose at a private course in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.
The incident occurred at St. Charles Country Club, the Free Press reported.
“Indeed, an alleged incident has been reported that a Canada goose has been killed on the golf course with a golf club,” St. Charles’ General Manager, Cameron Gray, told the Free Press. “[St. Charles] in no way, shape or form condones such actions.”
Gray said no staff member witnessed the incident, but he confirmed “there was a dead bird that was removed.”
“In my 20 years, this is the first alleged incident [like this] that has transpired,” he added.
When information of the incident came to light, officials with Manitoba Conservation were notified, Gray told the Free Press. The golfer “has, to the best of our knowledge, self-reported and is dealing with [wildlife officials],” he added. He would not say if the golfer was a St. Charles member or guest.
A Manitoba Conservation spokeswoman said allegations of abuse of Canada geese fall under federal wildlife regulations.
Environment Canada wildlife-enforcement officers are looking into the matter. The officers enforce wildlife laws, which protect plant and animal species in Canada, including migratory birds.
“Our investigation is ongoing. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this point,” said Mark Johnson, a spokesman with Environment Canada in Gatineau, Quebec, told the Free Press.
Aileen White, Director of Communications for the Winnipeg Humane Society, said the animal shelter was aware of the incident, but will leave the investigation to federal authorities.
St. Charles CC prides itself on being a “sanctuary that includes wildlife,” Gray told the Free Press. The club is situated near the Assiniboine River and has a few large ponds that attract migratory birds. During the summer months there may be several dozen Canada geese on the course, but in the fall “when flocks are gathering, they are certainly in the hundreds,” Gray said.
“Whether it’s deer, a variety of birds, foxes… this is a big piece of green space. Our [members] enjoy a variety of wildlife as they co-habitate with them on the golf course,” Gray said.
St. Charles is recognized as an Audubon sanctuary golf course, he added, having completed a joint program by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Audubon International that promotes ecologically sound land management and the conservation of natural resources.
The club also has an environmental stewardship committee that meets regularly, Gray said.