New York Plans Mass Killings of Geese

Geese have hit airplanes at local airports 78 times in the past 10 years, newspaper says

By Glenn Zimmerman
|  Saturday, Jul 24, 2010  |  Updated 5:15 PM EDT
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In the wake of the 400 geese removed from Prospect Park and gassed to death, a report, obtained by the New York Times shows that the city and state has plans to reduce the goose population in New York from approximately 250,000 to 85,000.

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Prospect Park used to have lots of Canada Geese, but now cameras only spot a handful.

The lack of honkers isn’t because of a change in migration or something Darwin would have written about -- it comes from an organized plan to kill 165,000 of the 250,000 geese statewide.

Animal rights activists are outraged about a report prepared by city, state, and federal agencies last summer that was just released this week by The New York Times.

The report determined that New York City has a goose population that is "five times the amount that most people would find socially acceptable" -- one that is out of control and needs to be reduced.

Earlier this month, as many as 400 geese in Prospect Park were rounded up, crated and gassed in the city.

The plan emerged after months of meetings following the crash landing that’s now known as the Miracle on the Hudson, when US Airways flight 1549 flew into a flock of geese causing its engines to fail.

But if point of killing the geese is to protect the planes taking off and landing near airports, how far do you go?

The city said in a statement last year that any goose on city property within five miles of an airport would be "removed," explaining that "74 percent of wildlife strikes occur at or near the airport."

Last month, officials extended the radius to 7 miles. The crash over the Hudson was further than that -- so where will the line be drawn?

"Of course I would not want to see a relative of mine go down in a plane," one animal rights activist said. "But it’s the way they did it, when they did, and there are other ways to manage the population."

But what about the risk to people? Geese have hit airplanes at local airports 78 times in the past 10 years, according to the Times.

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