In the two years she has lived at Craigmuir Lake, resident Jan McDougall has seen a decline of geese, attributing the foul play to a spell of shootings and illegal hunting.
When Ms McDougall moved into her parents’ old home which backs onto the lake at Mooroopna, a family of nine geese frequently visited her backyard.
As an animal lover, Ms McDougall feeds the birdlife which saunter from the lake up to her back door each day.
Since moving in she has found geese drowned by homemade traps, some shot in the back and others have merely disappeared without a trace.
Among other lake fowl, Ms McDougall said there were only three geese left, due to what she says are acts of animal cruelty.
‘‘Sometimes they have disappeared overnight and I could never know what happened to them,’’ she said.
‘‘I’ve heard gunshots in the night and people go out there in boats after dark, I’ve also found a number of homemade traps.’’
Ms McDougall said she had phoned Greater Shepparton City Council and the police.
She said the geese were a big part of her life, not unlike the many families who resided near or had picnics at the lake.
It was last month after discovering a goose had been shot Ms McDougall decided to take action.
‘‘The last goose was just floating near a log and I just ran and jumped in the lake, I thought she still might’ve had a breath in her,’’ she said.
‘‘On close inspection she had two bullet holes in her back, so it was during the night that someone shot this goose.
‘‘I was just devastated and I thought ‘I’ve just got to do something about this’ — because they’re just being killed by somebody for whatever reason, and it’s their home. They’re not doing anybody any harm.
‘‘I’m tired of the killing of the animals, they don’t have a voice and somebody has to be an advocate for them.’’
A Mooroopna police spokesperson said they were unaware of the issue and it was illegal to discharge a firearm in a populous area.
Anyone who sees any animals being harmed is urged to phone police immediately.