HILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Department of Land and Natural Resources said that a 57-year-old woman has been cited by the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement after she illegally removed a nēnē gosling from Wailoa River State Recreation Area in Hilo.

DLNR said that multiple witnesses had reported the incident to staff at the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the Hawai’i Police Department.

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Witnesses to the event said that she had placed the gosling inside her vehicle and then drove away with it.

They were able to provide a vehicle description along with a license plate number in order for law enforcement to follow up on it.

Police located the woman in Keaʻau, approximately 10 miles from Wailoa River State Recreation Area.

When police stopped the woman, they noticed that the nēnē gosling was in an onion bag inside a bucket in the rear of the vehicle. DOFAW came to the scene and verified that it was a nēnē gosling.

The woman was cited for the following:

  • §183D-62 – Taking, injuring or destroying wild birds prohibited.
  • §13-124-11 (a)1 – With respect to endangered and threatened species of wildlife; take, possess, process, sell, offer for sale or transport any such species, any young or egg or the dead body or skin thereof within the State.
  • § 13-146-41 No person shall trap, take, catch, possess, any wild bird or mammal or disturb their habitat.

Her initial court date is set for May, 19 in Hilo District Court.

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DLNR said that it is through the vigilance of the police officers that the nēnē gosling was saved.