Shelby County looks at humane solution for geese problem
SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Shelby County officials believe they have come up with a humane solution to the growing geese problem at Lake Shelby.
Hundreds of geese have flocked to the Shelbyville park and campground in the last several years. The population has grown to nearly 600 geese.
"It's just kind of continually has gotten a little bit worse and worse each year,” Shelby County Parks Director Shawn Pickens said. “They're kind of calling this home and hanging out here and having their babies here.”
Pickens says the mess the geese leave behind is a health hazard for people who visit and camp at the popular park.
"We just don't want anybody to get sick and that's our main priority,” Pickens said.
Pickens says the feces on the ground has become a real issue. He says it is putting his employees and park visitors at risk. He is particularly worried about children and campers sleeping in tents on the ground.
"You definitely want to try to keep it clean for the kids and the visitors and the people around the lake,” park visitor Dan Cabell said.
When the parks department allowed hunters to shoot and kill dozens of geese last year, the community wasn't happy.
"You don't want to start killing out a bunch of geese," said Cabell. "It's good if they can get rid of the geese by some other method."
After the backlash, the parks department started researching and looking into new ways to get rid of the geese.
"We still knew we needed to do something about the problem,” Pickens said.
The department is planning to spend about $1,500 to bring a group called the "Geese Runners” in to help. The company uses a dog to chase the geese out of the park without harming them.
"We all took a step back and agreed that we want to do what's in the best interest for our staff and citizens that use the park, but also try to do something in as humanely a way as possible."
The park will be holding an informational meeting about the geese problem Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Lake Shelby picnic center. It will start at 6 p.m. If you can’t make the meeting but have questions about the geese population control, you can reach out to the Shelby County Parks Department.
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