DRAPER — Wildlife officials Wednesday were trying to solve the mystery of at least nine dead and gutted geese found on a road.

"A lot of things about it just don't make sense," said Utah Division of Wildlife conservation officer Ray Loken.

About 2:30 a.m., a Draper police officer spotted the dead geese along 700 West between 11400 South and 12000 South.

"They were in fairly advanced states of decomposition," said Loken, who was called to take over the investigation.

The internal organs were missing, but Loken said he couldn't determine yet whether that happened before or after the geese died or if that was caused by humans or animals. He said it appeared that a couple of the geese had been run-over by other vehicles before they were discovered.

He did not believe the geese were killed in the location where they were found. Their necks were broken. Loken said after a preliminary examination of one bird, he spotted what might be pellet holes, but said he wouldn't know for sure until the birds were given a closer examination.

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What was odd, he said, was that the geese appeared to have been soaked in water before ending up on the road. He wasn't sure Wednesday if it was the result of poachers or not, and whether they were dumped or they fell from the back of someone's truck.

Goose hunting season doesn't start until October.

If anyone has information about the dead geese, they can call the DWR's poaching hotline at 1-800-662-3337. All calls can remain anonymous, and information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible could result in a reward.

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