Mundelein police are looking for the person who drove into and killed a family of 19 Canada geese as they attempted to cross Midlothian Road late Sunday afternoon.
A post on the police department Facebook page Tuesday afternoon asked the public for tips. The incident occurred at approximated 5:15 p.m. Sunday and involved a vehicle of unknown description traveling southbound near Cambridge Road.
Police Chief Eric Guenther on Wednesday morning said no one has since claimed responsibility and no tips have materialized.
“We used social media for two reasons: in hopes that someone did see something and then to start the conversation that this is a pretty significant crime,” Guenther said. “I want people to know that these animals are protected.”
State and federal law protect the geese, especially during migrating seasons. Guenther said a “hefty, hefty fine” would be issued for each of the dead birds. He said a similar incident in the past involving “only a few” geese resulted in $5,000 in fines.
“The Illinois Department of Natural Resources would consider this hunting out of season, hunting without a permit, and hunting in a non-designated hunting zone,” Guenther said. “Locally, some driving offenses could be applied.”
Police do not believe Sunday’s crash was an accident.
“When you look at the volume, from my perspective, it’s pretty hard to accidentally hit 19 geese,” Guenther said.
No bystanders witnessed the crash, but Guenther said several people who were passing by called 911 shortly thereafter. Although some of those people reported that a few of the geese were still alive, Guenther said none as of Wednesday were in custody receiving treatment.
Guenther speculated the geese had a nest at the Village Green Country Club or near the pond at Asbury Park.
A Lake County Division of Transportation intersection camera is mounted a few blocks away at Midlothian and Winchester roads. Guenther said the camera provides motorists with real time traffic footage to gauge their trips, but footage is not stored for long, if at all.
“Nothing was available to us, but even if it were, the incident occurred where there’s a dip in the road,” Guenther said. “We may not have had anything new if footage from that camera was available, which is partly why we’re asking the public for help.”
Anyone with information on the crash or vehicles in that vicinity on Sunday are asked by Mundelein police to call (847) 968-4600 or email MPD@mundelein.org.