Letter to the editor: I work in south Redding near the library. Lately a family of geese has taken to living on Parkview Avenue; they hang out in the shade of South City Park, possibly to take alms from the local park crowd, and cross the road several times a day to bathe in and drink from the gutter.
I'm not sure if their wings are clipped or they are just confused, but they won't leave. At first my coworkers and I kind of laughed at the fact that they refused to fly away and look for a real body of water, but the situation is becoming dangerous for everybody. It's not an uncommon sight these days to see a stretch of five or more cars in either direction waiting for the geese to leisurely cross. Earlier this week one of the geese was run over by a large pick-up with a trailer. My coworker called animal control immediately and they took about two hours to come out, presumably taking their time so the job was not one of animal rescue but of corpse retrieval.
Yesterday I decided that something needed to be done, so I called Animal Control. They said it wasn't their area and they couldn't help. Actually, what they said was that if I were to capture the birds then they would come pick them up. Where would they take them? The pound.
Unacceptable. I told them to forget it.
Next I tried Turtle Bay. They said they couldn't move the birds either, but they were very helpful and suggested I call the department of Fish and Game. When I did I was again told it wasn't what they do, despite the fact that we are dealing with waterfowl. They gave me the number for Shasta Wildlife Rescue.
Surely this would be the organization that could help! Will they? No.
I was told by a representative of Shasta Wildlife Rescue that they don't pick up animals, people bring animals to them. However, if the animals were injured then they would come save them. These animals' lives are in danger literally every single day, but apparently that isn't enough. The woman I talked to said once they are actually hit by a car, THEN I could call and they would come get them. But only the one that is hurt or dead - I would have to call back for them to pick up the rest of the corpses in turn. Out of frustration, I offered a ridiculous alternative wherein I would break one leg on each bird and call back, then they could pick them all up at once. The representative said she thought it was a horrible idea, which of course it is, and I would never do it, but she also agreed that it would indeed be successful, that they would then come pick them up.
This is so frustrating. I'm no civics scholar, but I'm almost certain we pay taxes to keep our streets from getting cluttered with things like trash and broken tree branches and geese. Even those who care nothing for the safety of the animals will have to agree that this situation is dangerous for humans. Parkview is a very high-traffic street, and it's only a matter of time before these geese cause a major accident.
This is a matter of public safety.
If these organizations full of people who supposedly love animals don't want to do their job, then I guess it's up to me to move these geese for the safety of the people. The Sacramento River is right down the street, after all, but I'm not a professional and I can't guarantee that they won't get hurt or hurt themselves in the process.
If only there were an organization in place that could help. Some sort of "animal control" unit, or perhaps some kind of, say, "wildlife rescue." In a more organized world, perhaps.
Matt Brunn has lived off and on in Redding for the past decade.
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