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City plans to euthanize geese population amid health concerns

By Katie Nielsen

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    FOSTER CITY, California (KPIX) — Foster City is continuing to deal with a fowl problem — water fowl. City leaders say the hundreds of Canada geese living in the city no longer migrate, causing problems for residents. Ideas on how to deal with the birds are also making waves.

Ahead of a city council meeting Tuesday, protesters rallied to ask council members to reconsider a plan to euthanize a portion of the more than 300 geese that now permanently reside in Foster City.

“I know this is a really difficult decision for the city to make but we think there’s got to be some alternative besides actually killing these poor animals,” said Anthony Goblirsch, who lives in San Mateo. He says they are dealing with the same issue at their home and thought it was important to come to Foster City to protest the plan.

The city has been dealing with an over-population of geese for years and has tried a number of ways to control the numbers — including goose birth control, dog hazing, strobe lights and fencing.

The city says that, despite the efforts, the goose population has basically doubled in the past two years.

“I think they leave a really big mess,” said Kathleen Thibault, who was out walking her dog in Marlin Park Tuesday afternoon. “When I walk I always have to dodge the geese droppings and it’s pretty messy and unpleasant.”

The city says the waste the birds create pollutes waterways and sullies municipal parks.

“I am a big fan of the geese. What I don’t like is their geese poop,” says Max Nelson, who was out walking with his family.

“There’s always conversations about the dog poop out there and you know people don’t pick that up, so what’s the difference with the geese poop, I guess,” said Ashley Weiss, a longtime Foster City resident.

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