Euthanized geese leave a community divided

13News Now reporter Jonathan Costen brings you the story.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVE)C -- Residents across the King’s Grant neighborhood are divided after 103 geese were rounded up and euthanized.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the geese were euthanized July 6. Their meat was given to wildlife rehabilitation centers.

“They have feelings whether people like to believe it or not,” said homeowner Karen Roberts.

Roberts is organizing a geese remembrance walk that will take place on Saturday July 15 at 3 p.m. at the park on Kings Grant Road and Blue Ridge Court.

“It was just something to make me feel a little better about what happened to these geese - that they were important,” said Roberts.

But homeowner Bob Moser said the geese are nothing but a nuisance and said the population is out of control. 

“I can’t walk to my mailbox,” said Moser. “You step in goose crap all over the place.”

At Witt Park, more than 100 paper grave stones were placed in the grass in memory of the geese. Moser and Roberts got into an argument in front of the memorial, disagreeing over the methods of how to properly remove the geese.

“I don't feed them and they eat the grass in my yard,” complained Moser.

“Yeah! It’s natural,” quipped Roberts.

Jennifer Cromwell, assistant state director for USDA Wildlife Services, said Canada geese are not endangered and the process of euthanization is common throughout the state.

Congressman Scott Taylor is even getting involved in the fight. Friday he released this statement:

“I have concerns about the roundup and subsequent euthanization of Canadian geese in Virginia Beach recently by the Department of Agriculture. My office is requesting information on the process used for these roundups and to seek transparency for our community on this issue. Particularly troubling is the fact neither the city, nor the local Department of Agriculture office was aware of the roundup and euthanization. While we are cognizant of, and understand the nuisance posed by certain animals to property owners, we believe it would be in the best interest for our neighborhoods to understand this process better.”

Cromwell said the USDA does not need to contact local government before the geese roundups.


© 2017 WVEC-TV


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