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Province investigating viral post alleging goslings stolen from mother goose

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The province is investigating a viral post on social media alleging a woman in Winnipeg stole goslings away from their mother.

The post claims a woman took two goslings from a mother goose in the Transcona area of the city. A spokesperson for the province confirmed conservation officers are investigating the complaint.

Zoe Nakata, the executive director at Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre, said it's quite concerning.

She said the best place for baby animals to be is with their own mothers in their own habitat.

"Even in an urban setting, even where we think it's very busy, parking lots, the parents generally do know what to do," she said. "They are the experts, let's let them do their thing."

She said removing goslings from their mother can have 'cascading' health impacts. She said the birds can develop weak wings and nutritional deficiencies. This could leave them unable to migrate south.

Removing goslings or geese could also have consequences for the human, she said.

"It is illegal to take any wild animals away from their natural setting," said Nakata said, adding geese are a federally protected species in Canada.

"If anybody here watching has, by mistake, taken baby goslings… please bring it to Wildlife Haven. We will take it no questions asked. I think all of us just want these babies to have the best chance at life."

A spokesperson for the provincial government said they can't speculate on what the fine might be at this time. When asked what possible penalties someone could face, the spokesperson told CTV News it depends on the situation, and added conservation officers are focussed on the wildfires right now. 

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