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Missouri Man Charged with Killing Goose with Car, Backing Up, Hitting It Again [VIDEO]

canadagoose.jpg
Jim Rathert, MDC
A Canada Goose, the only species that nests in Missouri.
A Nixa man faces two misdemeanor counts for illegally killing wildlife after he was caught on video running over a goose with his car, backing up and hitting it again.

Kristopher Sonntag, 35, told state investigators he was just "joking around" when he ran over the male Canada goose twice with his girlfriend's van, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

His story changed as agents from the Missouri Department of Conservation pressed him about the dead goose. Sonntag blamed his driving on the car, saying he lost control of the van because it is his girlfriend's, not his. Then, he blamed the goose.

"[Sonntag] later stated he thought the goose would move, but it did not," the probable cause statement says.

When asked why ran over the goose twice, Sonntag says he was "checking to see if it was dead and that he didn't think he hit it again," according to the News-Leader.

Harassing, killing or bullying migratory birds is a Class A misdemeanor, per the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Little did Sonntag know, a Springfield machinery company caught his act of ornithological homicide on the security cameras aimed at its parking lot.

"Honestly, I couldn't believe someone purposely tried to hit the goose," says Debbie Eisner, the general manager at the company, Grizzly Industrial, to the News-Leader. Eisner found the dead goose last month and checked the security cameras to see how it died.

See also: Let Them Eat Goose! Uses for the Canada Geese Being Fed to the Poor

Canada geese -- the only goose species that nests in Missouri -- were nearly wiped out by hunters here by the 1930s, according to the conservation department. New rules and protection efforts allowed the species to grow to 1.5 million geese in 2002. Signs in the neighborhood around Grizzly Industrial warn people of nesting geese.

One female Canada goose was keeping a nest near Grizzly Industrial, Eisner tells the News Leader. The male goose Sonntag allegedly crushed under his girlfriend's van -- twice -- had been hissing at people and chasing cars to protect the nest.

"Our customers were pretty respectful of it," Eisner tells the News-Leader.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


My Voice Nation Help
89 comments
Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

ok....so ...i never condone killing an animal by running over it with a car, but....i will say some of these geese are very aggressive. Usually, it is after people have ignored warnings not to feed them. Out of frustration people may feel justified to kill a goose that has become overly aggressive. It has happened at places where I have worked in the past. I know at St. Luke's Hospital, they used to have a pond with a lot of geese around it. The geese would literally chase you up the sidewalk all the way to the door. It amounted to about 200-300 feet dead run uphill. People would kick the geese, throw things at them, or just stand there and scream until someone else would come to their rescue. It was a bizarre thing to watch.

Christopher Schmidt
Christopher Schmidt

Maybe someone should blame their bad driving on their car and back over him a few times, an eye for an eye.

Victoria Marie Scott
Victoria Marie Scott

And you sir are stupid as hell for clumping all Missourian in one category^^^^^^^^^

Drew Starr
Drew Starr

these god damn missourians. I don't wanna deal with them. unfortunately I can believe someone did something crazy like this. Missourians are ghetto as hell.

Erin Javurek
Erin Javurek

I hate those geese. They're so mean. But I would never kill one of them.

Rick Bozada
Rick Bozada

If convicted 30 days of community service cleaning up geese droppings seems appropriate.

Vinny Bee
Vinny Bee

"What ya in for?" "I hit a dumbass goose in the road.." **Bubba pulls pants down**

kingvinnyb
kingvinnyb

I only seen him hit it once? Am I missing something? Not that it makes it any better..

Stephen Martin
Stephen Martin

It's a smorgasboard, Leah. If you like it, take some. If you don't, then leave it. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to read.

Bob Conrad
Bob Conrad

He was just thinning the flock... j/k

Scott Weber
Scott Weber

They came HERE! They're Canadian geese

Scott Weber
Scott Weber

So. If he hit a pigeon or other small animal no one would care. These Canadian geese are all over the frickin place. Making a mess and being an annoyance.

javataur
javataur

 Not to support what he did, but they're protected? Seriously, far as i know, in the United States, Canadian geese are considered an invasive species, who'd want to protect that? Oh wait, i live in MO now, 'nuff said.

Christopher Lynn
Christopher Lynn

This is sick. I hope he comes back as a goose who's raped and killed by some redneck in the 1930's.

Kurt Kellenberger
Kurt Kellenberger

Tie him to a bumper and drag him around town especially on a bumpy road.

John Imboden
John Imboden

Yet caught on tape will not pertain to any result of criminal prosecution in springfield mo. Where a cop was caught on tape by walmart security cameras. Yes i am glad one injustice is brought to life. But what is more important? The truth behind the murder of a goose? Or the shot in the back murder of a sick man? Dont answer for me, but for yourself.

NukeAngel
NukeAngel

@RiverfrontTimes At first I laughed really hard, those angry little fuckers suck. But mowing him down in a car is kind of overkill.

gkenzz
gkenzz

@RiverfrontTimes thats one less hissing monster on the street terrorizing and intimidating innocent civilians

Brandon Myers
Brandon Myers

Haha Canadian geese are assholes. Always hissing and chasing people that just walk by

Don Barnett
Don Barnett

Apples and oranges. Your argument is a logical fallacy. Look it up.

Todd Markarian
Todd Markarian

Northern geese are as big of assholes as this guy. It's a real toss up.

Quinn Travis
Quinn Travis

If you can't muster up sensitivity for a animal then honey, you have much bigger problems. You're a bully and trust me, if you have anger issues like that, then their are deeper darker issues and eventually will affect a human being. what he did was senseless and cruel.

Heather Banks
Heather Banks

What a jerk! WE TOOK THERE HOME! It wasn't the other way around!!!

Heather Banks
Heather Banks

If it's an accident, fine. That's happens when humans and animals mix. But this is clearly on purpose and I have no sympathy for him at all.

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