Someone with a dart gun is stalking the wildlife of Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.
On Oct. 9, the parks department says, the maintenance staff at the park noticed two ring-billed gulls, a Canada goose and a squirrel, all walking around near the Orchard Beach parking lot with darts in them.
One gull had a dart below an eye and the goose’s dart was lodged in its shoulder. Members of the Urban Park Rangers program tried to catch the animals but the animals scurried off.
Such was not the case in the park on Sept. 21, when two birds with darts in them were found dead and two others were euthanized because of their dart injuries, the parks department said.
A member of the park patrol officers union told the newspaper Metro that people buy blowguns at nearby delis and go “hunting in the park.”
Park rangers have stepped up patrols and are trying to capture the injured animals, which still carry the darts in their bodies days later, the parks department said on Thursday.
The attacks recall the case of Sticky, a goose in Prospect Park that was shot through the neck with an arrow from a crossbow in 2010.
The arrow was never removed, but Sticky was believed to have been caught in the roundup and slaughter of 400 geese in the park that was part of an aviation-safety measure.