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Denver Residents Have Mixed Reaction To Geese Population Control

DENVER (CBS4)- The City of Denver is working with the United Stated Department of Agriculture on plan to manage a growing goose population in area parks. That plan calls for culling the flock and using the birds to feed hungry families.

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"When I started this job one of the first things I started doing was trying to manage the Geese," said Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation Scott Gilmore.

Gilmore says the number one complaint his office receives is the amount of goose poop covering the ground, which he says is a nuisance but can also be a health concern and harmful to the water.

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"It had gotten to the point where the parks were being almost unenjoyable for a lot of people that is why we moved forward with this plan," said Gilmore.

Belinda Begley lives across the street from Washington Park and has for years; the geese have been there just as long.

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"I have seen them multiply greatly in that time," she said.

The city's current goose management plan, which includes the use of a man made predator, known as the "Goosenator" isn't working, which is why they have launched a more aggressive approach, known as culling.

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Working with the USDA, they can capture as many as 2,200 Canada geese in Colorado and process the meat.

"They are taking them to a processing facility where they are processed and they are donating them to needy families," Gilmore said.

However, not everyone who enjoys the park agrees with the new approach.

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"I think supporting underprivileged people is noble, but killing wild geese to feed those, sounds ridiculous," said Howard Turk.

Turk lives nearby and says having the geese around is part of the joy that comes with being outdoors.

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"This is a park, people want to be in nature and play, why kill them?" he said.

Other residents, like Begley say it is about balance.

"What a better thing to do with the geese then feed hungry people," she asked. "There's too many geese and too many hungry people, so it works out," she said.

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Gilmore says Denver residents can expect to see this new approach used in all Denver parks, although Washington Park is where it is currently underway.

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