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Seen At 11: Could A Decoy Be The Solution To Westchester Goose Infestation?

MAMARONECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A battle has been brewing in Westchester County, as residents debate how to get rid of flocks of unwelcome geese.

But as CBS 2's Dick Brennan reported Wednesday night, the solution could be as simple as a decoy.

At a meeting in Mamaroneck, there was an explosion of screaming and finger-pointing on what to do about the out-of-control goose population.

The Canada goose population in Westchester has grown to more than 250,000. The Town of Mamaroneck contracted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to get rid of its geese, which have defecated all over two city parks.

"They will take them to the slaughterhouse, quite honestly, and they will turn them into food that they will give to not-for-profit corporations," Mamaroneck Mayor Norm Rosenblum said.

A similar plan was announced in January in Scarsdale.

But animal rights activists said the plan is inhumane.

"They're sentient beings. They're intelligent. They have their own families," said Kiley Blackman of Westchester4Geese. "People love watching them and their little babies."

Animal rights activists want to try other ways, such as spreading Kool-Aid -- which they say the geese hate. They also want to test a contraption that takes to the skies.

The device by Geesebusters looks like an eagle, but it is actually a fake bird that supposedly takes to the skies and scares the geese right out of town.

"Birds are territorial, so once you introduce an eagle into the area, which is the top of the food chain in the bird world, they give up the territory," said Robert Gaudagna of Geesebusters.

Gaudagna said the birds won't come back if they see the decoy.

"They go completely out of the picture" and find a new town, he said.

CBS 2 showed the demonstration to Mayor Rosenblum, who said it won't work. In fact, he said the town has tried to drive the geese out before.

"They put them in a truck. They drove them down to South Carolina -- one of the Carolinas -- and they flew back before the truck got back," he said.

Rosenblum said he's open to options in the future, but this roundup will go ahead sometime after April 1.

Geesebusters said its animal scaring device gets rid of birds up to half a mile away – sometimes farther.

Animal rights activists have also spoken favorably of another device, the Goosinator – a propeller-driven, radio-controlled device used to shoo away geese on land and water alike.

Last summer, the county rounded up and killed 500 geese at a Yonkers golf course and turned the birds into burgers for the homeless.

What do you think is the best method to get the geese out of Westchester? Leave your comments below...

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