CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charles Battaglia found the Canada geese on the Kennedy Charter School grounds Monday, bloodied and suffering from shattered bones.

In the parking lot nearby, all of the windows of a school bus were smashed.

And vandals also had broken several windows on the building itself, said Battaglia, the maintenance director for the school on Sharon Road West in south Charlotte.

Surveillance video shows five teenagers damaged the property and used rocks and a board to attack the geese, which nest every spring on the school grounds, around 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The individuals came on board and starting smashing the bus up and beating up on the geese, throwing rocks at them until they were bleeding, Battaglia said.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue workers Tuesday took two geese to Monroe Animal Hospital for X-rays and treatment for broken bones. Veterinarians put a splint on the crushed leg of one of the injured geese, rescue workers said, while the other received treatment for a broken wing.

A third goose was at the vet s office for mild cuts to his face, said Jennifer Gordon, director of Carolina Waterfowl Rescue. A fourth is missing and suspected dead.

The most badly injured bird has head trauma, ruptured air sacs, internal bleeding, a crushed leg and foot among other more minor problems, Gordon said. The mate who was there Saturday is gone; we assume he was killed.

In the meantime, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were reviewing surveillance video of the incident. Police said they had not yet charged any of the teenagers, but school officials said three of the five suspects have been identified as students from another school.

Federal law provides for penalties of up to $10,000 for harming Canada geese, which are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Act.

A police report puts the cost of the damage to the school bus and building at more than $1,000. But Battaglia said Sunday s destruction is the latest of several vandalism incidents that have happened over the past three weeks.

He estimated the school will have to pay about $10,000 to repair buses that have had windows smashed on at least two other occasions.

But the maintenance director said he is more concerned about the geese s injuries. The migratory birds spend several months out of each year on the campus, nesting and raising their young, he said.

Gordon said Carolina Waterfowl Rescue deals with criminal behavior on a weekly basis. Often, birds are illegally trapped or shot, she said.

One of the injured geese was discovered next to the school building, close to one of the smashed-out windows. The other was lying at another spot on school property, unable to fly, officials said.

They just live around the building, no one ever usually bothers the geese, Battaglia said. It is just cruel and terrible what the juveniles were doing to them.

CMPD Animal Control is also investigating the case.

Read or Share this story: