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Flap over 'execution' of Canada geese goes national

In New York and elsewhere, the geese are killed as nuisances and dangers to aircraft, but a growing legion of fans is crying foul.

August 02, 2010|By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times

Chio Flores, who launched the Facebook page for the Prospect Park geese, said she wanted the park to erect signs urging people not to feed the birds and to improve education about the birds and other wildlife so they didn't end up becoming nuisances.

"It's about much more than just the geese," said Flores, who doesn't consider herself an animal rights activist but was drawn into the issue after seeing how the goose deaths distressed regular park visitors.

"These are the wrong lessons for kids to learn," she said of the gassing. "How do I solve a problem? I kill the geese."

As long as geese are living just a few miles from New York's major airports, though, it appears doubtful next summer's molting season will pass without more culls, because dispersal methods aren't advisable near low-flying aircraft.

"The last thing we want to do is try to make birds fly when a plane is landing or taking off," Bannerman said.

One person whose opinion might help influence the debate's outcome isn't speaking. Through a spokeswoman at the agency representing the retired pilot-turned-author, Sullenberger declined to comment on the issue.

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