DENVER — Denver is done culling geese for the year.
That's according to Cyndi Karvaski, a spokesperson for Denver Parks and Recreation, who added that they expect to see more geese migrate to the state this fall and winter — and will re-evaluate their strategy next year.
The department recently rounded up geese in Denver parks and slaughtered them in an effort to control the city's goose population, they said. Their meat will go to families in need outside of Denver, according to US Department of Agriculture biologist Kendra Cross.
The practice has drawn criticism from local activists, who created a citizens' group called Canada Geese Protection Denver “in response to clandestine raids in which Denver Parks & Rec and the USDA slaughtered thousands of geese in Denver’s parks in the middle of the night."
The group held a rally last weekend to "honor" the Canada geese. Dozens attended the rally, which included a ceremony "to cleanse the kill zone" and a "feather table" displaying feathers of geese that were killed.
Canada geese are protected by federal law, but the government can give cities and states permission to control out-of-control populations.
Karvaski said US Fish & Wildlife gave USDA a permit to cull up to 2,200 geese. The majority of those geese came from Denver, she said.
The city has other strategies for managing the geese population. Those include oiling eggs so they don't hatch and to keep geese from laying more eggs and a "goosinator," which looks like a predator and scares them away.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Local stories from 9NEWS