Canada Geese don't have a lot of fans out there, but don't mess with them. They're classified as "Protected Migratory Birds."

Because of that classification, you're not supposed to make contact with Canada Geese in any way, especially running down an entire group of them with your car, as a Lake County driver may soon learn.

On Sunday, the geese were attempting to cross Midlothian Road when they were wiped out. Mundelein police are now trying to find the driver who fled the scene to determine whether or not the geese were intentionally run over.

Police Chief Eric Guenther says "it's pretty hard" to accidentally strike 19 geese. He believes the geese might have had a nest at Village Green Country Club or near a pond. Anyone with information can call (847) 968-4600.

A vehicle killed six geese in Chicago on June 5. The driver said his brakes malfunctioned.

Canada geese are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. They are also protected by the Illinois Wildlife Code. In urban areas, Canada geese may not be removed. For more information about a conflict with Canada geese, contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Urban Waterfowl Project Manager at (847) 608-3167.

In rural areas, hunting can help control populations of Canada geese. An Illinois hunting license, Illinois waterfowl stamp, Federal waterfowl stamp, and registration with the Harvest Information Program are required.

You can see below why they're protected. It's because they're so...uh...cuddly:

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