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11 geese found mysteriously dead on banks of Ohio River, residents suspect foul play

Published: Feb. 4, 2020 at 7:08 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Nearly a dozen geese were found dead along the Ohio River in New Richmond Tuesday morning, and apparently no one knows why.

It’s a mystery that has wildlife officials scratching their heads as some local residents are wiping away the tears.

The geese, it seems, are as much a part of this small river town as the people who live here.

“This is why we always come down to the river,” New Richmond resident Rosemary Dietrich told FOX19 NOW. “I mean, this is home not only to the residents, it’s home for these geese.”

Susan Johnson happened upon the gruesome scene Tuesday as she was walking the banks of the river.

“They were dead, no apparent trauma done to them, nothing,” Johnson said. “It just breaks my heart."

Johnson adds her heart sank as she saw one goose who appeared to be holding vigil over the death of another.

“When I walked down to that riverbank and seen the one dead and its male stand by it, it breaks my heart,” she explained. “I mean, they mate for life. What is he going to do now? I mean, think about it. How would you feel if your made died. He won’t leave it.”

Dietrich echoed Johnson’s heartache.

“Oh, it’s awful,” she said. "It’s crushing.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources sent two wildlife division officers to the scene to investigate, including Brian Goldick.

“It’s hard to say what’s killing them,” Goldick told FOX19 NOW. “We don’t know. We were looking for gunshot wounds and stuff like that... nothing is jumping out at us.”

Dietrich calls the death of the geese “suspicious.”

“Something’s not right,” she said.

Johnson agrees. She thinks it could be a case of (no pun intended) foul play.

“There’s been an ongoing battle here with the geese,” she explained. “There’s some in the community that do not want them here and want to try to get them relocated. I just hope this wasn’t a tactic. It’s a stain on our community.”

Unfortunately for Johnson and Dietrich, the geese are considered domesticated animals, so their deaths do not fall under the jurisdiction of the State Wildlife Division. That means local residents will have to collect the geese and pay for their testing.

But Johnson is undeterred, telling FOX19 NOW she plans to do just that.

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