When residents in Huntington Beach, California noticed a bunch of geese stumbling around Carr Park a few weeks ago, no one really knew what was going on. The birds walked slowly and awkwardly, necks lowered, and eyes barely open.
As onlookers watched the strange spectacle unfold, it quickly became apparent that the birds were all completely intoxicated.
It turns out that someone had dumped a large collection of pills on the ground, and to the birds, the colorful mix of tiny tablets everywhere looked just like grain.
The mix was made up of a wide range of all kinds of medicine including heart medications, antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and even sleeping pills. The birds were literally gobbling them up.
The combination of the pills produced some very strange behavior among the birds who were unfortunate enough to get dosed, and some were just totally passed out, upside-down with their legs splayed in the air.
These are just the birds that we know of too. Experts said it’s likely that many managed to travel away from the park before the effects started to fully kick in.
At least one man, Brian McDaniel, found an intoxicated bird in his neighborhood several miles away. At first, he actually thought the bird was dying.
“Its head and neck were lulling all over the place. The eyes, one was open and the other was closed, and then it started flapping its wings,” McDaniel told CBS Los Angeles.
It’s unclear who originally dumped the pills, but luckily animal control volunteers from the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center were there to treat the birds that were most badly affected.
“Our center is currently treating a Canada Goose and a Ring-billed Gull that are exhibiting symptoms, such as loss of muscle control, that coincide with illness most likely caused by ingesting these medications. Both birds are doing well with treatment which mainly consists of pushing IV fluids through their system to flush it out. Thank you to those who took quick action to help the innocent birds at this park,” they posted on their Facebook page.
It is likely there are several more injured birds out there that that still haven’t been discovered, and the media urged residents to keep an eye out for other intoxicated animals in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Huntington Beach Carr Park is a city green space with a small fishing lake, located just a few miles from the Pacific coast.
Taking into account the fact that there is a popular playground there, it is lucky that no children accidentally ingested any of the pharmaceuticals.
This time it was just the wildlife that took the brunt of the damage.
Police said it looked like the pills had been there a while, but when they looked around for pill bottles they were unable to find anyway. We can only hope that they will be able to catch the person responsible for this incredibly dangerous act.
Watch the video below for the whole news story from CBS Los Angeles.
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