What a turkey, right? New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Police Officers (ECOs) and Investigators had plenty of rescues during the last week of March. Let's take a look at how they made a difference in these animals' lives.

Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "DEC's Environmental Conservation Police Officers are working hard in communities across New York to protect natural resources by upholding our state's stringent laws and regulations and protecting public safety...Our ECOs are expertly trained to perform their duties in every setting-from cities to wilderness-and continue to adapt to meet new and emerging challenges as they build on their longstanding commitment to protecting New York's environment."

The Goose is Loose - Queens County

On March 15, ECOs Michalet and Milliron were conducting U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shellfish checks during low tide at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens County when they noticed a Canada Goose struggling to walk.


Michalet and Milliron quickly discovered the goose was badly tangled in fishing line. They captured the goose and removed the fishing line. The goose made a quick getaway via the sky.

The green braided fishing line is now being used as a teaching aid about the effect of litter and pollution on the environment and the species directly affected.

Photo by Emma Thompson on Unsplash

Noises in the Dark - Steuben County

On March 16, ECO Baker was contacted by NYS Police of a dead bear in Bradford. Baker, along with assistance from ECOs Fuerch and Dussault "determined the bear had been shot in the head." The suspect stated:

He was in his house getting tools when he came out and was startled by an animal approximately 20 yards away. The man went back into the house and grabbed his spotlight and gun and then realized it was a bear. The man said he yelled and shot in the air to frighten the bear, but when it didn't leave, he shot the bear.

The suspect was charged with taking a bear out of season and multiple other violations.

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Turkey Caught Breaking and Entering - Erie County


On March 23, an Erie County woman heard a large bang and crash from her upstairs bedroom and found a turkey had smashed through the glass window. She corralled the turkey into the upstairs bathroom until ECO Machnica arrived to assist. The homeowner and Machnica say the turkey flew around the bathroom, crashing into mirrors and walls, leaving broken glass everywhere. ECO Koepf was called in for assistance in capturing the turkey.

According to DEC, the "two Officers used a neighbor's fishing net to pin down the turkey and then grabbed the bird and brought it outside before it could cause further damage." The ECOs set the turkey free and went the extra step to helping the woman clean up the mess left behind.


Pups on Thin Ice - Greene County


On March 24, ECO Smith received a call from State Police in Catskill about two dogs that fell through the ice on the Potic Reservoir in Cairo. The press release says :

A motorist driving by the reservoir saw the dogs struggling in the broken ice and called police for help. ECO Smith responded to the location and found one of the dogs had freed itself from the ice and made it to shore while the other animal was still stuck on the broken ice approximately 70 feet from the shoreline. Utilizing a throw bag and Personal Flotation Device (PFD), ECO Smith accessed the ice and shuffled out to the dog. The Officer pulled the dog from the water and slid her off the ice on the PFD.

ECO Smith found the owner of the dogs and returned the pets. The owner said the dogs had escaped their home by digging and removing a barricade.


If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

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