BALDWIN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -An administrative error by a federal agency led to the mistaken killing of nearly 100 geese at a Long Island pond.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports, Milburn Pond in Baldwin is normally filled with waterfowl, but not anymore. Visitors can’t help but wonder: Where have all the geese gone?

“There were a lot. Now, there’s, like, the ducks,” one visitor said.

Nature enthusiasts noticed it too, and soon there was an explanation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Nassau County, admitting a misunderstanding and error.

In June, the federal agency removed and killed 86 geese for airplane safety close to John F. Kennedy International Airport. But Milburn Park is not close to the airport –  it’s 10 miles away. Geese are only rounded up in parks less than seven miles from the airport, like one in North Woodmere.

“They indicated in a letter, official letter to us, that they did make a mistake. They were very, very sorry about that, and we made sure that we rescinded their permit right away,” said Nassau County Deputy County Executive Brian Schneider.

Schneider says Nassau does not condone euthanizing geese. They favor non-lethal methods when a park is nowhere near an airport. When it is, they’ve given the USDA access to prevent bird strikes.

The USDA says the geese were “humanely euthanized” and the meat provided to local food banks.

But, there is outrage.

“Apologies are meaningless to the 86 lives, the mothers and their babies that were slaughtered right here. I mean, there are community members who live along this pond here who are heartbroken,” said John Di Leonardo of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature.

But managing geese is a challenge.

“The one silver lining, if you could say, out of this is that we’re revisiting that protocol and we are going to be rolling out a public awareness,” said Nassau County Legislator Debra Mule.

Much of the blame, say officials, is on the well-meaning public. Feeding geese only increases their population and keeps them local year-round.

A spokesperson for the USDA told CBS2, “We will be taking additional steps in the future to ensure this doesn’t occur again.”

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Comments (4)
  1. Andylit says:

    They have become the equivalent of pigeons. Instead of following a normal migratory pattern they settle in wherever humans have set up shop. They foul the area around ponds and make it impossible for residents to even walk, much less put down a blanket and have a picnic.

  2. Mr. Norman says:

    Before this vendetta against Canada Geese started in NYC about ten years or so ago, there were thousands of geese in the area
    Using the excuse of the Miracle on the Hudson a general kill order went out
    Despite the fact that migrating geese (who fly much higher) were involved in the incident the order targeted resident geese (who fly lower). Nor has any resident Canada Goose ever been involved in a plane incident countrywide, let alone in NYC
    Moreover bird radar has proven to be a perfectly reliable method used throughout the world for spotting migrating geese threats to planes. But the US refuses to use it. Instead they still claim that killing resident Canada Geese is the solution
    As a result, today you can barely find a Canada Goose throughout the entire park system of NYC. With their loss, the smaller waterfowl that were often found in their company have also disappeared
    Their presence was very helpful in cleansing and aerating ponds and lakes and in encouraging the biodiverse ecology of the surrounding areas
    These birds killed were a last rare ray of light in a dark dank cesspool
    BECAUSE we’re actually on automatic EXTERMINATION MODE FOR GEESE

    1. richard says:

      Mayor MiniMike started this atrocity policy. Glad his POTUS campaign failed. I like animals being around and consuming big portion drinks.

  3. AngelaAHenderson says:

    I get paid over $98 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I just got paid $ 8460 in my previous month It Sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it……………………Read More

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