Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Geese gassed in Bend

Just in time for the summer tourism season, the park district in Bend decided to gas 109 Canada geese from Drake Park along the Deschutes River, the city's iconic location.

Fed up with the perpetual poop, the park district rounded up the geese Tuesday morning, took them to a district shop and then forced them one at a time into a trash-can-sized enclosure filled with carbon dioxide and held them there until the thrashing about ended.

As with all gassings, it was meant to be quick and humane, the park district told the daily newspaper.

And, to make this palatable to the outraged masses, the park district was going to donate the gassed goose meat to area food banks.

That's the ticket, foie gras or goose pate. Don't let Mr. Creosote (from Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life") know about it or he'll check in at the Bethlehem Inn, the city's homeless motel.

Evidently, years of forced birth control and oiling of eggs so that the goslings die, didn't reduce the geese population significantly enough for the park district. In fact, these measures stabilized the population at around 200 at the park. And, believe it or not, Canada geese, as well as the Mallards, were an attraction at Drake park.

Thank god the park district didn't try a shootout on the Deschutes. We would then have to name the river the Gooshoots River. Can you imagine scores of NRA types on either side of the river blasting away at the geese and goslings swimming in the water? Apparently, the recent explosion at a nearby bullet factory, Nosler Bullets, ended that brilliant idea.

When you create a habitat that attracts waterfowl, it's absurd to be outraged that the geese would settle here. A couple of decades ago, it was Mallard ducks that proved to be the problem. The park district netted them and shipped them off to parts a hundred miles away. In their absence, the geese moved in and there went the neighborhood, according to the Mallards. Now, with the geese gassed, the place is safe for Mallards again.

As we now know, geese and ducks are avoiding rural areas and moving into the cities of the Northwest because there is plenty of food and hunters aren't allowed. These bird brains have figured this out.

The Canada geese or Mallards will return. They will poop. And people will still visit the park in droves. Nothing gained, nothing changed.

But as always, blame Canada.

Bend resident, Debby Lynn, wrote "A Letter to Goose 109" and read it during a memorial held for the 109 geese. Please click here for "A Letter to Goose 109."



  1. For the umpteenth time, geese are not a health threat
  2. Donating goose meat to food banks?
  3. Humane Methods and Success Stories