400 Canada Geese Killed for Air Safety Reasons

Two Canada geese take flight, Jan. 20, 2006, in Washington, D.C. AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File

Parkgoers who spend a lot of time in Brooklyn's Prospect Park noticed something different in recent days: All the Canada Geese who live in the park are gone, according to a story in the New York Times.

The Times reports that the geese, 400 in total, were rounded up Thursday and euthanized. The idea is to prevent the geese from flying into aircraft in the manner that forced US Airways flight 1549 to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River in January 2009.

A spokeswoman for the wildlife services division in the Department of Agriculture told the Times that the Canada goose population had quadrupled in 20 years and the removal and euthanization of the birds was completely necessary.

Read the New York Times story here.

In a related story, officials in one northern New Jersey county say it will no longer use gas or guns to get rid of pesky Canada geese in their parks.

The Bergen County Board of Freeholders on Wednesday voted unanimously to end a contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to euthanize geese with carbon dioxide.

The action followed a weekend protest against the killings.

Saddle Brook resident Pat Sayers said she was sickened by seeing garbage bags filled with dead geese that had been gassed in Saddle River County Park.

Freeholder Chairman James Carroll said he didn't know about the agreement until recently. He said the contract wasn't large enough to require the board's approval.

Last week in Bend, Ore., 109 Canada geese were euthanized at the behest of the Bend Park & Recreation District. Some city residents plan to hold a memorial service at the Galveston Bridge in Drake Park on Thursday evening to remember the slain birds.
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