‘Aggressive’ geese euthanized in Huntersville, prompting social media backlash

Geese have become a common sight at ponds across the South.
Geese have become a common sight at ponds across the South. kmyers@kcstar.com

A wildlife management initiative that captured and euthanized nearly a dozen “aggressive” geese at The Park-Huntersville has ignited social media outrage among activists.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue first noted the removal in an Aug. 28 Facebook post, and claimed the animals had been killed. The post was accompanied by a photo of a section of grass strewn with feathers.

“This morning we received information about someone rounding up geese at the The Park-Huntersville,” the post states. “Please let them know humane options exist and that killing is not the answer.”

At least 10 geese were believed to have been killed. In a post later the same day, the nonprofit group seemed to acknowledge that there was nothing illegal about the removal.

“We’ll never stop standing up for animals. If the abuse is legal, that doesn’t make it right...There are always humane alternatives to conflict with animals.”

The Park-Huntersville said this week that it had all the proper permits and licenses for the removal. It also noted federal and state protocols were followed to “humanely manage” the large population of geese that flock to the pond on the property.

“At times, these resident geese have been aggressive with children, pets and other visitors who frequent the natural areas around the pond. The geese also leave considerable waste that can be a health hazard,” according to a statement from The Park-Huntersville.

Social media responses to the removal have been largely critical on Facebook.

“Beyond cruel!...I am horrified by this,” posted Sarah Hunt of Charlotte.

“I went for a run after work today and I noticed all the feathers and that the geese were gone,” posted Jessica Carlisle of Troutman. “This breaks my heart. I really hope someone gets to the bottom of this.”

The Park-Huntersville responded to the social media reaction with a statement saying it will work in the future with Carolina Waterfowl Rescue to evaluate its current approach to wildlife management “to ensure its practices are the most effective and humane possible.”