Residents, officials at odds over fowl at park

Residents, officials at odds over fowl at park

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - On Wednesday, residents and officials with the City of Odessa talked about the closing of Memorial Gardens due to many issues with the park, most notably an overflow of ducks and geese.

Natalie Pounder, started the petition for the ducks and geese said, "For them not to have even asked for our opinion as a community and decided to take it into their own hands and turn it over to the state and let them handle it, it's not fair."

Steve Patton, Director of Parks and Recreation in the city of Odessa said, "We have to do something because the health, safety and welfare of the public is at stake."

At the "Save the Ducks" rally held off of 42nd Street in Odessa, residents and officials with the city of Odessa and the Texas Wildlife Service have not been on the same page on what to do with the animals.

"If we have a four or five year old kid that's out there and they start getting spurred by one of the geese on attack thinking it's going to get fed then the child is going to get hurt and who's going to be liable then," said Patton.

Patton added overfeeding and people dropping off their own ducks and geese they received as gifts were reasons causing the overflow. Rally goers wondered if there was a better plan.

"This is not a permanent solution, in two years we will have another overpopulation and do we just expect to watch our animals at the local duck pond get euthanized. That's the best thing they could come up with," said Pounder.

As it stands, on July 14 there will be a clearer picture of how the overflow of ducks and geese were handled.

"The sight it under the states control. They are responsible for addressing the issue, not every duck is going to be removed," said Patton.

"What do we tell our children every two years when there's a gate around it, oh don't look over there because their killing the animals here," said Pounder.

City officials said the community can help decrease the overflow by not feeding the ducks and the geese. People who attended the rally offered to help relocate the animals if needed.

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