More than 3,000 acres of water and rolling hills just north of the city of Pittsburgh welcome visitors every day of the year; these visitors enjoy walking through the trails, having picnics in the picnic areas, swimming, boating, golfing, ice skating, playing tennis, and watching and feeding the wildlife.
Each year the park gives home to more than 700 Canadian Geese. However, these geese seem to be causing a problem, or at least that’s what Allegheny County and federal official’s state. North Park workers claim to clean up about four hundred pounds of goose feces every day, and officials are stating that the bacteria from the feces could pose health risks in the form of E. coli and salmonella to humans who use the park.
So as a result of this assumption, over this past weekend, almost 300 geese were trapped and transferred to a facility where they were euthanized ‘humanely’ by gassing them with carbon dioxide. The birds’ are being taken to a meat packing plant in Latrobe where the meat will be tested for contaminants then given to area food banks. The county will pay $7 to process each bird. They also have been putting vegetable oil on any of the eggs found in the park which will stop them from developing.
Euthanized humanely. That comment stated on the news and in various articles bothers me. Nothing is euthanized humanely. Their going to die anyway, and for what reason, because we want to keep our parks cleaner and possibly stop a maybe spread of bacteria which we don’t know for certain that will be spread to the people at the parks.
Killing almost 300 innocent geese does not stop the level of bacteria that is forming. Bacteria can form anywhere on anything and just because 300 geese were killed, doesn’t mean that 300 more geese will flock to the area soon enough. During the second year of the Canadian Geese’s life, they find a mate and stay together all of their lives, and if one is killed the other may find a new mate. The mates of the geese that were killed will inevitable go out and find another mate and lead them to North Park.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have estimated the goose population nationally to be around 4.5 million and with a growth rate currently at 10%, there will be around1.2 million geese added to the current population within three years. Yes, that is a lot of geese, however since many parks are monitoring the census of geese that call their parks home, here’s a more humane way of settling this issue without killing these animals; why don’t we take the eggs that are laid by the geese and make sure they are hatched away from their birth place then transferred to locations that do not have many geese. Being born there and that park is all they know, they may consider that their home.
Automatically rounding up geese for a mass murder is not a way to solve anything. The reason that we have hunting seasons is for population control as well as a natural way of obtaining food. If an area of the United States is overcrowded, I don’t see the government rounding up humans into a box and killing them for population control. Of course not, this would be wrong and inhumane, so why do we think its okay for animals but not okay for us?
I hate the fact that animals are looked upon so much differently than humans. We are all similar for the fact that we thrive on the same planet, eat the food, and drink the water. Geese aren’t the only animals out there that cause problems or even the only thing out there that causes bacterial infections or threaten human health. A lot of times it seems like our society just want to kill off everything that bothers us.
So, North Park workers have to clean up the goose poop, the workers are getting paid to keep the park clean, they are getting paid to do their job, so do it! Park officials have stated that for ten years they have been trying to decrease the geese population by putting up no feeding signs and using scare tactics, however all has failed and the number of geese continues to grow. One statement made suggested that with these geese out of the park, less geese means less of a need to clean off the concrete surfaces. I bed to differ with that comment. Keeping the parks clean mean cleaning the concrete surfaces, there could be still harmful bacteria on the concrete that no one can see. Just because there isn’t bird poop lying on the sidewalk, doesn’t mean that if we put our hands on the sidewalk that it’s germ free and sparkly clean.
I think that is just a sign stating that mother nature is taking it’s course and no matter what we try to do to stop it, there is no sure fire way of stopping the number of geese that are going to migrate and live in the various parks around the United States.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not an animal activist; however I do believe that every living thing has a right to live and a place on this planet. Especially for the fact that goose droppings should be the least of our worries.