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Scarsdale's Geese Extermination Plan Upsets Bird Advocates

A long line of bird advocates wait to talk to the Scarsdale Board of Trustees.
A long line of bird advocates wait to talk to the Scarsdale Board of Trustees. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Bird advocates from around the tri-state area were in Scarsdale on Tuesday night to contest the village’s proposed plan to kill a gaggle of Canadian geese that resides at the pond near the public library.

At the Board of Trustees meeting, members of the community, as well as affiliates with animal rights organizations, offered Mayor Miriam Levitt Flisser and Village Manager Alfred Gatta alternative options to deal with the geese problem.

Bronxville resident Loraine Izzo said the village should do more research before disposing the geese.

“I’m appalled and dismayed that the village of Scarsdale, such a progressive village, would resort to extermination practices,” she said. “We need to coexist with wildlife, not just destroy it when it gets in our way.”

After each advocate spoke, there was a round of applause from other audience members in support. Scarsdale resident Kim Gold said that one of her children started a petition at school that garnered nearly 250 signatures from elementary students.

“These are not the values I feel we stand for as a community, and this is not the way we should handle our problems,” she said. “We’re a resourceful, intelligent community. There are non-violent solutions right in front of us, but we’re choosing an ineffective method.”

Alternate solutions included using a border collie to scare the geese – which was unsuccessful in the area a few years ago – growing tall grass near the water, piercing eggs and treating nests. Vendors from Long Island and Connecticut even used the forum to promote products that they’ve invented that have been used to scare geese off in their hometowns.

“You can implement non-lethal, humane ways of goose dissuasion,” Anne Muller, a member of the Wildlife Watch in New Paltz said. “We urge you to follow suit and to give up the notion of killing. Try the many alternatives, it will spare the community all of the dissention you hear right now.”

Robert Phillips, who has lived in Scarsdale for 50 years, said he understands why the geese can’t seem to stay away.

“If you take everyone out of the slums in New York City, they would fill back up the next year. All we’re doing is killing and slaughtering the animals for no good reason,” he said. “I was here when the geese used to come and go, they found it so nice that, like myself, they decided to stay.”

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