Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Animals Killed With Blow Gun In Pelham Bay Park

UPDATED: A Canadian Goose with a dart lodged in its left shoulder in the parking lot of Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay Park yesterday. Eight animals have been shot over the last several weeks including four birds which were killed.  (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.

"The incidents further highlight the need for more security in Pelham Bay Park, which is New York City’s largest park and is three times the size of Central Park. Although the Bronx has more parkland than any of New York City’s other boroughs, it ranks fourth in the number of enforcement officers who patrol the parks," said Council Member James Vacca.


By Geoffrey Croft

Someone is hunting wildlife in the city's largest park and with deadly results. 

Eight animals have been shot over the last several weeks in Pelham Bay Park NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Officials believe the weapon is a blow gun.

On September 21, four birds were found shot with darts - two were dead and two others had to be euthanized due to the wounds.

Last Tuesday Pelham Bay Park maintenance employees discovered another four animals had been stuck with blowdarts in the Orchard Beach parking lot.

Two Ring-Billed Gulls were wounded at Orchard Beach, including one that was shot just below the eye (below) October 14, 2012 (Photos by Joseph Morales)

Two ring-billed gulls were wounded, one was shot below the eye.  One Canadian goose was darted in the shoulder. The forth animal shot was a squirrel. 

The Park Department's Urban Park Rangers attempted to capture the wounded animals but they fled when approached. 

According to law enforcement sources the plastic blow gun can shoot up to 70 feet and can be purchased in local bodegas. The deadly darts are the size of a pen.

Urban Park Rangers and Park Enforcement Patrol officers will step up patrols and make additional attempts to capture the injured animals according to the Parks Department.

On Wednesday two PEP officers were keeping an eye on two injured Canadian Geese.

NYPD officers from the 45th Pct. will also step up patrols in the area said law enforcement sources.

The NY State Department of Conservation has opened an investigation into the incident and have assigned police officers, said DEC spokeswoman Lisa King.  They confirmed that one bird was brought to a Manhattan veterinarian hospital.

On Wednesday a Canadian Goose with a dart lodged in its right shoulder was spotted in the Orchard Beach parking lot in Pelham Bay Park. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.

According to the spokeswoman they have stepped up patrols in the area. They have gone out into the park, interviewed patrons and have been patrolling the area in unmarked vehicles.

The crime, if the offender is caught would be prosecuted under State law, not city animal cruelty laws.
The crime is a violation and the offense is "illegally pursuing taking or wounding protected wildlife" and "taking or wounding of a protected bird."

Wounded Geese and Seagulls under state protection. The penalty is up to 15 days in jail per violation and a fine of up to $250 per violation according to NY State DEC.

On Wednesday PEP officers located two injured geese in Pelham Bay Park. 

On Thursday Council Member James Vacca announced plans to introduce legislation banning the sale of blow guns in New York City.

The blow guns, which are sold at stores near to Pelham Bay Park in Vacca’s district, are considered toys and are not dangerous to humans, but they are lethal to animals and are illegal to for hunting Vacca said in a statement.   

“Toy guns are banned in New York City, and these blow guns must be done away with too,” said Vacca.

“They serve no productive purpose, especially when they are used illegally and unacceptably to kill and maim animals. I ask anyone with information about these animal attacks to please come forward, and I implore the merchants in Orchard Beach to stop selling these blow guns immediately.”

 Orchard Beach parking lot in Pelham Bay Park.

Read/View More:

WCBS -  October 17, 2012 - By Cindy Hsu 

WABC - October 17, 2012 - By Marcus Solis 

WNBC - October 18, 2012 - By Tracie Strahan

NY1 -  October 17, 2012 - By Erin Clarke

Fox - October - 19, 2012 - By TI-Hua Chang

New York Times - City Room -  October 18, 2012 - By Andy Newman

The Associated Press via The Wall Street Journal

Metro - October 17, 2012 - Danielle Tcholakian 

NewYork Post - October 18, 2012 - By Helen Freund

NewYork Post - October 19, 2012 - By Helen Freund

1010 WINS - October 17, 2012

New York Daily News - October 17, 2012 -  By Daniel Beekman    

City Island Birds - Fall Birdwalk Results - October 14, 2012 


  1. How sad and distressing to see this type of behavior. These are considered toys? So how do you play with them? Run around trying to stick each other with them? They should be "illegal" in NYC.

    Any conscientious vendors should pull them off their shelves after hearing about the abuse to animals. I lead bird walks and also bird in the Bronx. I will definitely be on the lookout for the culprits!

  2. never heard of these blowguns till now

  3. Friends of Animals has led the campaign to oppose and reverse New York City’s roundup and slaughter policy of thousands of Canada geese throughout city parks for four years. As long as government-sanctioned and taxpayer-funded killing of wildlife occurs in our parks, the public will receive the destructive message that other animals don’t matter, and that, in turn can influence public behavior. Widely published reports and photos of Canada geese and their goslings being brutally stuffed into crates, and transported to gas chambers have been made public—impressionable young people have been given the message that treating urban wildlife with extreme disrespect is justifiable. We must demand of our public officials policies that respect and protect wildlife. The public is watching and listening closely.

    Edita Birnkrant
    NY Director
    Friends of Animals

    What You Can Do

    Contact Mayor Bloomberg and make clear your opposition to the slaughter of geese in New York City.

    · If you live in New York City, you can call the Mayor’s office at City Hall at 212.788.3000.

    Outside of New York City, call 212-NEW-YORK.
    · Fax a message: 212-788-8123.
    · Send an email to Mayor Bloomberg

    For more information, contact Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals by email at or 212.247.8120

  4. How can they be "considered toys and are not dangerous to humans"? If they can hurt and kill an animal they could certainly do damage to a human. Imagine someone being hit in the eye with one of these darts. They should definitely be outlawed!

  5. They confirmed that one bird was brought to a Manhattan veterinarian hospital.