angus.jpgAs we mentioned last month, The Central Park Conservancy was fed up dealing with park vagrants given to scaring away visitors and dropping prodigious amounts of feces all over Olmstead & Vaux's urban jewel, so it hired a pack of dogs to chase the interlopers off. This is not as horrifying as it sounds, unless you are a huge fan of the Canada geese that have made Central Park their year-round home. The large honking birds are considered a pest by the conservancy because they scare away ducks and other birds, eat the park's well-tended grass, and excrete an average of a pound of feces a day.

The New York Times had some face time with the Geese Police, Inc. ("Call us to . . . Get the Flock Out!"), which consists of a man named David Marcks and his team of border collies. Again, it's important to emphasize: The dogs don't harm the geese, but their herding behavior harasses the birds to leave and settle somewhere else where they won't be bothered because "geese are lazy animals and don't like to move repeatedly." In particular, the geese become unnerved by border collie behavior that is referred to as "the stare". Truly, these dogs sound very cool.

The Geese Police are very proactive according to the Times account:

But when the dogs — in this case, two black-and-white collies named Dehl (pronounced DEAL) and Coal — were led by handlers to a cove where the mating birds had stopped to rest, the geese immediately flew off. They circled overhead, honking in protest. A few minutes later, the geese in the Meer were scared off by the sight of a collie in a kayak that had been paddled out to the middle of the lake.

If you'd like to see a canine in a kayak (dog-paddling?), Marcks and his team will be around Central Park for the rest of the month and will likely return in the fall. We suggest the Central Park Conservancy begin selling merchandise that says "Geese Police: CPNY", because we would be the first in line to buy it.

And this method of geese control is considered humane by PETA; look at PETA's Helping Animals website for more information.

(Photo of "Deputy Dog: Angus" from Geese Police, Inc.)