DENVER (CBS4) – The city of Denver will likely continue with culling as part of its three year plan to manage the Canada Goose population in the metro area. It was the main topic of discussion Tuesday night at a meeting hosted by the City Park Friends and Neighbors.
It’s not a new part of the city’s plan, but it did clarify some information for those wondering if it would happen again. The chances are high.
“Right now, today, we are hazing geese to try to keep them from staying in Denver. We will try to chase them out when spring time comes, if they’re nesting, we will oil their eggs,” said Scott Gilmore, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation.
These are the efforts that have produced little results over the last seven years. Gilmore says last year, the culling finally seemed like the only viable option.
Over the summer, more than 1,600 geese were killed and processed to be given away as food. Gilmore says the identities of the processing facilities as well as which shelters the meat went to were kept under wraps to prevent protests.
Initially Gilmore said he and his family received death threats.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, he was met again with mostly disappointed community members hoping to avoid another culling.
“As is typical with animals, they’re treated like second class citizens. They don’t get the say in it, but they always have to pay the price, and I think it’s wrong,” said Jack Murphy, owner of Urban Wildlife Rescue.
Murphy says in his 35 years working with animals, he has never had to kill one and he wants the city to look into more non-lethal options.
Gilmore says other options have been tried and haven’t worked. He says it’s becoming unmanageable and unsanitary.
Gilmore estimates about 5,000 geese have made Denver their permanent home. A single bird produces about a pound of waste per day.
“It just continues to grow and so we had to make some decisions,” Said Gilmore.
The city is in its second year of its 3-year management plan and says it will continue hazing the geese over the winter and re-evaluate the numbers before the next culling.
The USDA also released its findings on Denver’s efforts over the last year.