NLR Park District could spend up to $10K to get rid of geese

NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV)--The geese are here to stay, but not if the North Little Rock park district can help it.

The problem began around a decade ago at Burns Park, but it's been an even bigger issue in the past couple of years.

400 birds were counted earlier this year.

The park district's plan could cost up to $10,000.

Last year, Channel 7 reported that a local man and his dogs were used to shoo the geese away, but one dog recently died.

Now, they're looking at buying a new dog.

"They started staying as residents probably 10 years ago, but the numbers have grown because they reproduce here, they stopped leaving to have their babies," said Park Ranger Ian Hope.

What's the problem?

"Fecal matter and they like to eat the grass that we like to cultivate for our recreation. The grass on the golf course is short and well cared for, that's exactly what they like to eat," added Hope.

As we previously reported last year, pouring outcry from the public caused the city to withdraw a proposed ordinance to hunt and kill the birds.

The next solution was hiring a man and his two dogs, but one dog has died.

Now, the cost to buy another dog could be thousands of dollars.

"Between $3,000 and $6,000 depending on the age of the dog and the training it's had, then we have to figure food and a place to keep the animal, wouldn't be surprised if it's in the $10,000 range," said Hope.

While the geese have become a nuisance for some, others like Melissa Huston don't mind the un-invited guests.

"Saturday morning at about 8 o'clock I was walking around here close to the river, and I hear honk honk. I looked behind me, about 30 geese flew over my head, about six feet over my head and it was just really exciting," said Huston.

Hope said, another worry for the park district is the bacteria geese droppings carry. E. coli can be found in fecal matter, and can cause illness by contact with droppings. He added, that could be a problem for the children playing on the soccer fields in Burns Park.

The park district hopes to purchase the dog by the first of the year, and that money will come from tax dollars.