Prospect Park is a huge city park in Brooklyn that features a woodlands area, a children’s zoo, a fantastic meadow and a beautiful lake. I can honestly say it’s one of the best city parks I’ve ever been to.
That’s why when I heard New York City was rounding up the friendly geese who live at the park in order to gas them, I was thoroughly outraged. Fortunately, so were many people who lived nearby.
Over the weekend, frequent park visitors and animal rights groups held protests at the park condemning the city’s contract with the USDA to exterminate Canada geese. Over the past two years, more than 2,800 Canada geese have been captured and gassed with carbon dioxide, because the mayor deems them an aviation danger after they contributed to the plane crash in the Hudson River a few years ago.
Last summer, the city killed the geese and are possibly planning to do so again before the contract with the USDA expires on June 30. Many people, including council members, fifth graders and chefs, are all trying to dissuade the city from renewing its contract by suggesting other ways to control Canada geese populations.
Most recognize that the geese pose some risk, but don’t agree that they should be gassed when they’re molting and unable to fly.
The Prospect Park Alliance, the Humane Society, Brooklyn College and other groups are working together to find a better alternative to limit Canada geese populations. For example, they suggest possibly enacting a ban on feeding the geese, bringing in border collies to scare them away or oiling the eggs to prevent them from hatching.
Even if you don’t live in New York City, you can also help discourage Mayor Bloomberg from resigning the contract that will kill thousands of geese by signing this petition.
The geese bring a lot of personality and happiness to the park. One of the state senators was quoted saying the birds are important to the park:
“We sat in this park, in a serene environment, and sat on those rocks. Some of us courted our first love in our life, merely by sitting here. We couldn’t afford a Broadway play. But we had the pleasure of seeing these birds swim.”
Today is the day of online action, so even if you don’t live in New York, you can still help make an impact by stopping this senseless slaughter of Canada geese by going here, which might also help discourage other cities from adopting similar policies.