Geese sickened by cooking oil or illegal dumping of greasy liquid at McAlpine Creek Park

Volunteers with Carolina Waterfowl Rescue have captured at least 15 geese sickened by a suspected cooking oil spill or illegal dumping of greasy liquid at McAlpine Creek Park on Monroe Road in Charlotte.

According to a release from the Indian Trail nonprofit, the geese were found Friday around the park with cooking oil in their feathers. Cooking oil or grease can be toxic to birds when ingested and will prevent them from being able to regulate their body temperature, which could provide fatal in cold temperatures.

On Saturday, a spokeswoman for the waterfowl rescue said that an additional 30 geese may be sick.

A local resident e-mailed the nonprofit about the possibility of sick geese at the park.

“We’re so thankful for the Good Samaritan who alerted us to this situation,” said Jennifer Gordon, executive director of the rescue, said in the statement. “These birds need urgent care and wouldn’t likely have survived much longer.”

All the birds are being washed to remove the oil and receive a full medical exam and treatment, if necessary.

The waterfowl rescue is seeking the public’s help to report any additional birds in and near the park or off nearby Village Lake Drive, where the creek runs. Oiled birds’ feathers look darker, greasy and won’t lay flat. To report findings sent an e-mail to hotline@cwrescue.org.

The rescue also needs donations or original, blue Dawn liquid soap to help wash the birds. Soap can be dropped off at the rescue at 5403 Poplin Road, Indian Trail, seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Online donations to cover medical costs can be made by visiting www.carolinawaterfowlrescue.com/donate.html. Checks should be made payable to the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue and mailed to P.O. Box 1484 Indian Trail, N.C. 28079 with “McAlpine Rescue” in the memo line. All donations are tax deductible.