Remembering Our Fallen Fowl

What do you get when you combine a park full of goose poop, some frustrated park officials, a generous amount of carbon dioxide and a group of bleeding heart animal lovers?

You get a goose funeral.

On Thursday in Bend's Drake Park, Oregon a group of people gathered to mourn the euthanization of 109 Canada geese. Days before, officials had rounded up the geese and killed them by stuffing them into canisters filled with carbon dioxide. The geese (and the large amount of poop they produced) were a nuisance in the park and month-long attempts to scare them away had failed.

But some of the more sensitive Bend locals were shocked by the killings. So they organized a funeral singing songs, reading poems and saying prayers for the 109 fallen fowl.

"I think a memorial like this will help people console each other," Bend resident Foster Fell told the local Bend Bulletin newspaper. "I, myself, in the last few days have been nursing a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat."

While having a goose funeral is rare, euthanizing nuisance geese is becoming more common. The same thing is going on in New Hampshire where 21 geese were euthanized in June, and last summer New York officials euthanized about 800 geese after a flock caused the famous Hudson River crash landing.

Euthanizing geese horrifies animal lovers and baffles most hunters. Couldn't officials have closed the park and allowed a select group of hunters to knock down the population in a weekend? And euthanizing geese isn't cheap either. It cost $22,000 to kill the 109 geese in Bend Drake Park.

I know what you're thinking so I did the math. With $22,000 you could by a brand new semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun, a bag of goose decoys, a well-bred and fully trained retriever, a new pair of waders and 680 boxes of 3 ½ -inch shotgun shells.

Goose jerky anyone?

-Photo from bendbulletin.com