Geese in Denver are getting rounded up and killed, with the meat from some of them donated to charity, in a government effort to reduce a growing population of the fowl that city parks officials say is causing safety and environmental hazards.
The “capture and euthanization” program has sparked some criticism, including from an area biology professor who slammed the practice as unethical “slaughter.”
But officials say reducing the goose population in the city, which is estimated at 5,000 in the summer months, will improve water quality in lakes and ponds by significantly reducing the amount of goose waste in the area.
Denver absorbs more than 5,000 pounds of goose droppings daily, according to Scott Gilmore, deputy executive director of the Denver Parks and Recreation.
“That’s 35,000 pounds of poop a week, 140,000 pounds a month!” Gilmore told the Denverite. “It all ends up in our streams and waterways.”
9News reported Friday that the culling started this month, with a team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services assisting Denver in the practice.
According to the Denver Parks Department’s goose management plan, the euthanization program would include having some of the goose meat processed at poultry plants for human consumption and donated to charitable organizations. In other cases, the carcasses of euthanized geese would be buried or incinerated.