About 150 geese from Byrd Park to be available for adoption

About 150 geese from Byrd Park to be available for adoption
CWR adopts domestic geese that exhibit two major risk factors: vulnerability to predation by local coyotes and the presence of angel wing, a deformity caused by consumption of processed foods such as white bread. (Source: Pixabay)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - According to the City of Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities (PRCF), about 150 geese from Byrd Park will be available for adoption in the coming weeks.

On Oct. 16, PRCF said that in partnership with the Carolina Water Fowl Rescue (CWR), it started the rehoming process for the domestic, non-migrating geese that live at Swan Lake in Byrd Park.

This comes after the rescue previously postponed plans to adopt them out until they could have health checks. When plans were originally announced, visitors to the park were upset to hear the geese would be leaving.

With approval from the Virginia Department of Wildlife, about 150 geese were captured and will be available for adoption in the future.

“It’s been a pleasure working with the City staff who have only shown concern for the geese and their welfare,” said Jennifer Gordon, CWR Executive Director. “People are often focused on the emotional aspect of the animals and tend to forget these are domestic animals abandoned in the wild.”

CWR was asked to help in the process because “animals abandoned in the wild are subject to cruelty to humans, lack of veterinary care, disease, poor nutrition and other ailments.”

The PRCF said the goal of rehoming the geese is to improve the health and safety of the part and wildlife.

“While residents and visitors enjoy feeding the geese, this tradition has resulted in harm to the domestic geese. A diet of human food causes deformities that harm geese and cause “angel wing,” making it impossible to fly. It also leads to Canada geese taking up year-round residency in the park rather than their natural instinct to migrate,” PRCF said in a release.

The geese will be given a full veterinary examination and checked for injuries by CWR staff and a USDA and state approved veterinarian.

After being cleared, about 60 geese will be adopted in Virginia and the rest of the geese will go to live at Carolina Waterfowl Rescue’s North Carolina facility.

“Geese will be grouped according to family and will be available for adoption. Potential adopters must go through a screening process to demonstrate they have adequate homes for the birds and a knowledge of waterfowl care,” a release said.

Residents and rescue organizations interested in adopting the geese should email adopt@cwrescue.org.

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