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Gaston County Criticized For Euthanizing Geese

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File photo of Canada geese. (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

File photo of Canada geese. (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — Gaston County is getting plenty of criticism from those upset by the county’s decision to euthanize 144 Canada geese at a park.

Officials say the flock had become such a nuisance at the park in Dallas that they had no choice but to remove them.

Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Hart said the U.S. Department of Agriculture helped retrieve the geese Tuesday and humanely euthanized them.

Hart said the birds left droppings on and around the park’s ponds, athletic fields, picnic areas, walkways, restrooms and parking lots.

Hart said some residents have reported the birds were hostile.

“We’ve had reports of bites here,” she said.

County officials are getting in-person comments, telephone calls and emails.

“We’ve heard a lot of opinions about it, some pro and some con,” said Hart, who acknowledged the vast majority of responses have been negative.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue of Indian Trail had worked with Gaston County officials on the problem for the past month and said it was willing to relocate and save the geese. Officials with the nonprofit organization said they were never told that all 144 birds would be euthanized.

“I think we were all trying to put the public’s health first,” she said.

Many Facebook postings were highly negative.

“Killing without looking for alternative options is not OK,” wrote Kim Braman. “You should all be fired.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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