Some from Forest Lakes angered by killing of geese
Published: July 3, 2010
Forest Lakes residents have been shocked by the disappearance of Canada geese that usually frolic in the subdivision’s lake.
Confusion turned to anger for some who discovered the geese were collected and killed to keep them from slamming into planes.
“I’m emotionally upset about it,” subdivision resident Alma Tesoriere said. “It’s a horrific thing.”
But Scott Barras said removing the geese was necessary.
“In general, Canada geese are the most hazardous animals” when it comes to interfering with planes, said Barras, the Virginia director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s wildlife program. The birds, which often top 10 pounds, can get caught in a plane’s engines and cause it to crash.
With the Charlottes-ville-Albemarle Airport just miles away, the geese were prime targets.
Barras said workers corner them, cage them and drive them away in a big truck. Then they’re taken to a company that slaughters them and donates the meat to zoos or wildlife rehabilitators. The euthanasia method depends on the contractor, he said.
This time of year, Canada geese cannot fly, Barras said. That’s why the geese were targeted last week.
In all — potentially including other bodies of water within a few miles of the local airport — 89 geese were caught in Albemarle and killed as part of the annual roundup.
Compared with the amount taken from other Virginia localities, the number is relatively small, Barras said.
Barras said he could not provide figures for how many geese were taken specifically from the Forest Lakes subdivision. He deferred to the airport questions about where else in Albemarle geese were collected. Multiple attempts late last week to contact head airport officials were unsuccessful.
Tesoriere said that if officials must remove the geese, they should be relocated instead of slaughtered.
“We have to learn to live with animal life,” Tesoriere said. “It’s just so redneck.”
Barras said: “Basically, we don’t want to move the problem to someone else.”
Canada geese can damage airplane frames or engines, Barras said, noting they are among the most dangerous animals near airports, largely because they fly in flocks and are big.
A plane landed in the Hudson River in New York City on Jan. 15, 2009, after an engine malfunction caused by striking a flock of Canada geese.
Tesoriere said she’s upset the geese were taken without residents being warned and given an explanation.
“I think the neighbors had no idea,” she said. “I presume I have a right to know.”
INFORMATIVE ARTICLES ABOUT HUMANE GOOSE POPULATION CONTROL MEASURES AND OTHER ISSUES:
- For the umpteenth time, geese are not a health threat
- Donating goose meat to food banks?
- Humane Methods and Success Stories