Town of Clarksville explains why it had to remove geese

Updated: Sep. 5, 2017 at 11:12 PM EDT
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A goose attacked a Clarksville police officer in April. (Source: Youtube/Shane Bassett)
A goose attacked a Clarksville police officer in April. (Source: Youtube/Shane Bassett)
Clarksville Town Manager Kevin Baity (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Clarksville Town Manager Kevin Baity (Source: WAVE 3 News)

CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) - The town of Clarksville says the bigger the flock, the bigger the problem when it comes to geese.

"The area where we're standing is relatively clean," Town Manager Kevin Baity said. "If you had been here two months ago, we couldn't be standing here without standing in goose feces."

For years Clarksville has battled an overpopulation of a seasonally aggressive species of the bird near its government building area off Veterans Parkway. About five weeks ago, the town determined that the population had to be brought down.

Of the many issues the flock brought with it, one incident may stand out in the minds of many. Earlier in 2017, a goose attacked a government worker.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: VIDEO: Clarksville police officer attacked by goose

"A goose had nested over in the landscaping in the police department and an officer was coming to work one morning and was attacked by a goose protecting its nest," Baity said.

WAVE 3 News got a hold of that video in April. It showed one goose charging at an officer holding a bag.

With geese multiplying every year, Baity said they had to pare down quickly before the property was ruined.

"There are several barren areas where the geese had totally eliminated the grass," Baity said, pointing out the bald spots in the grass. "Especially around the ponds."

Baity explained that the decision to euthanize about 200 geese comes after years of debate, trial and error with different methods of deterring the geese.

"Previous councils had discussed it, previous administrations talked about different ways of reducing the numbers here," Baity said. He added that the town's goal is to maintain a healthy number of geese that people can enjoy, not total elimination of the population.

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"The continuation of that mount of geese was not going to be healthy both for the geese and the environment here," Baity said.

Now with a more controllable gaggle, the next step, according to Baity, is prevention by creating a fence made out of fishing line around the ponds.

"It makes it uncomfortable for the geese to land and take off and they will learn not be here," Baity said.

Baity said several people have called into the council letting them know that they are disappointed in the town's decision. He also said he received calls regarding the meat from the geese going to waste.

He explained the decision was up to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and they did offer the meat up to a local group that had expressed interest.

However, because the meat had not been processed and packaged according to the organization's standards, the meat was not able to be transferred.

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