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Lake Wildwood Euthanizing 75 Geese With No Proven Link To E. Coli Outbreak

LAKE WILDWOOD (CBS13) — A picturesque lake community has residents taking sides over a goose removal process after its association determined the goose droppings were causing a mess and health issues.

Lake Wildwood is a private, gated community nestled in the foothills that teaming with nature.

But its association says flocks of geese are causing a nuisance with excessive excrement droppings and a possible connection to an E. Coli outbreak last year.

"Some ended up in the hospital, there is a lawsuit pending right now," says Bob Mariani, general manager of the Lake Wildwood Association.

The association received a federal permit to euthanize 75 geese, the association says the population here runs around 100 to 200 depending on the time of year. It says the geese removal was a board decision and its plan is already underway.

According to Mariani, "They were able to get the geese into a pen and transport them out and euthanize them. We will also be allowed to use a pellet or BB gun."

Some residents call that outrageous saying there is no direct connection to the E. Coli outbreak that sickened some children visiting last year and the geese.

Area resident Romie Pratt opposes the plan.

"I swam in there every day last summer and not once did I get sick."

The association says it's tested the water time and time again and admits there has not been a proven link between the E. Coli outbreak and the geese. So why go through with killing the geese?

The association says it has tried other methods but weren't satisfied with the outcome.

"We used dog patrols to go out there and they chase the geese and all of that worked up to a certain degree, but then we hit kind of a plateau," says Mariani.

One longtime resident told CBS13 the geese were here in far greater numbers 20 and 30 years ago. Other residents say droppings are a problem other communities have dealt with successfully without having to sacrifice the geese.

"I do think they're overreacting with this situation, it seems like they can do other things maybe capture them and put them somewhere else instead of shooting them."

The city of Denver has had success using something called the "Goosinator" which is a mechanical remote control device that's driven through the water to scare the geese away.

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