NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The State Department of Conservation is investigating attacks targeting wildlife in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.
Seven birds, including two ring-billed gulls and a Canadian goose, and a squirrel were found shot with darts over the past several weeks, said Geoffrey Croft with the watchdog group NYC Park Advocates.
Two of the animals were found dead and two others had to be euthanized because of the extent of their injuries.
Authorities believe a blowgun was used in the attacks, which have occurred near the Orchard Beach parking lot.
“It’s really sad,” Croft told 1010 WINS. “These are attacks on defenseless animals.”
Regulars at the park, like Mace Anderson, said whoever is behind the attacks is a sicko.
“They’re not playing with a full deck, they need help. They need help and they need to be stopped,” Anderson told CBS 2′s Cindy Hsu.
Steve Wetzel takes his daughter to the park all the time.
“It’s a place you think you’re safe. When there’s somebody going around hurting animals, you don’t know what else they’re capable of. It’s ridiculous, it’s senseless,” Wetzel said.
Croft said the plastic blowguns can apparently be bought locally at bodegas and that the darts are the size of a pen.
Pelham Bay Park is huge — three times the size of Central Park — and some are calling for more security.
“We’ve been calling for many years now for increased enforcement, park enforcement. It’s not just the public that needs protection, it’s also our animals that are very important to our park and ecosystem,” Croft said.
If the shooter is found, the person faces a slew of charges and up to two years in jail.