Woman nabs rare goose, stuffs it in onion bag and drives off, Hawaii park officials say

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Photo from Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

A woman nabbed a nēnē gosling from a Hawaii state park, stuffed it in an onion bag and drove away, officials said.

Multiple witnesses reported seeing the 57-year-old woman take the gosling from Wailoa River State Recreation Area in Hilo before placing it in her car, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) said in a March 23 Facebook post.

Witnesses gave police a description of the woman’s car, along with its license plate number, DLNR said. Hawaii police found the car about 10 miles away in Keaʻau.

After being stopped during a traffic stop, according to DLNR, an officer “saw the gosling in an onion bag in a bucket” in the back of the woman’s car.

A biologist from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife was called on scene and confirmed the bird was a nēnē gosling, officials said.

The woman was issued a number of citations, including taking, injuring, or destroying wild birds prohibited, according to DLNR .

She is expected to appear in court May 19, DLNR said.

The Hawaiian Goose, or nēnē, is the rarest goose in the world,” according to the National Park Service. It is also the state bird of Hawaii.

While the “species was on the brink of extinction” in the 1950s, today, the nēnē population is making a comeback, according to NPS.

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