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Animal Defenders of Westchester
Articles Canada geese flee Westchester's 'Goosinator'
Canada geese flee Westchester's 'Goosinator'
*NOTE from Westchester4Geese: This item was purchased by Westchester County Parks Dept as a direct result of advocate outreach; and Tartaglia has gone from telling the press he 'reserves the right' to kill more geese, to now saying the county 'most likely will not do another roundup of geese for slaughter,' instead supplementing the Goosinator with egg oiling. A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS IS EXTENDED TO EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THIS EFFORT.
YONKERS — Most people standing in the middle of the fairway of the fifth hole of Westchester County’s Sprain Lake Golf Course would be gripping a 5- or 6-iron.
Not assistant course manager Joe Klein on Friday. In his grasp was the remote control for the “Goosinator” — and skimming along the mostly brown grass in front of him was a 40-inch-long, orange-plastic-foam critter.
A dozen Canada geese padded around a neighboring hole. But they weren’t there for long.
With a twist of the controls, Klein sent the Goosinator serpentining across the grass. Pulled along by a buzzing propeller, it rolled up to the birds. Honking and flapping, the geese flew off toward the nearby parkway — mission accomplished for Klein.
“It runs on land. It runs on water,” he said. “With these geese, they really don’t have any predators, especially on water.”
With a feline resemblance and a maniacal grin, the Goosinator is the latest in Westchester’s goose-control arsenal. In July, 470 geese were captured on the course and sent to an upstate processing plant to be slaughtered. Officials said the meat was donated to the Food Bank for Westchester.
“It’s one method we’re using,” Deputy Parks Commissioner Peter Tartaglia said of the Goosinator.
He said the county will “most likely not do a roundup” of geese for slaughter this year but will coat eggs with corn oil and place them back in the nests. That prevents the eggs from developing and keeps the parents from laying more.
Animal activists have criticized the county for killing geese and have lobbied Westchester and other municipal officials to consider non-lethal methods. Mamaroneck village this week backed off its plans to kill geese this summer after a large public outcry.
The golf course in Yonkers, one of six county-owned courses, is ground zero for Westchester’s turf battle with the birds. Wide expanses of grass and a large lake make the property a goose’s dream.
“They look down, they say ‘Motel 6, they left the light on for us,’ ” Klein said.
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