More News:

July 06, 2016

$1,000 reward offered after driver runs over geese at Popcorn Park Zoo

Ocean County Prosecutor's Office says animal cruelty charges will depend on circumstances

Investigation Animal Cruelty
070616_GeesePopcornParkZoo Source/Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter

Geese run over at Popcorn Park Zoo in Ocean County, New Jersey.

The Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter in Forked River, N.J. is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a driver who fatally struck three geese and critically injured a fourth on Tuesday afternoon.

Canada geese often leave the tidal waters at Popcorn Park Zoo to eat grass on the other side of Ocean Gate Drive, where speed restrictions are limited to 20-25 mph. The incident occurred as the geese attempted to cross the roadway. Their bodies were left in the middle of the street.

"This is absolutely disgusting and inexcusable," the shelter said in a statement on Facebook. "Geese only take a few seconds to cross the road. Wait, go around them, but them over? That is despicable. Far too often this is intentional and not an accident."

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, which is assisting in the investigation, explained that potential charges will be determined based on the nature of the incident.

"Animal Cruelty statutes are very dependent on circumstances. They also differ for companion animals and wild animals. Event circumstances and whether it was a companion or wild animal would dictate if it would be charged on a municipal level or as a felony charge. In the case of the animals being purposely run over, motor vehicle charges would also apply. Bottom line - what happened here is horribly wrong. Hopefully the responsible individual will be identified in order to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."

Officials at the zoo said that several geese and a white duck appear to have been killed by motorists over the past month.

Any witnesses to the incident are asked to contact Popcorn Park Zoo at 609-693-1900. Those with information about the driver are asked to contact the local police department at 732-269-2468.