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MEDIA RELEASE: Memorial to Slaughtered Geese Unveiled by Dr. Patch Adams as Activists Unite to Save Urbana’s Wild Animals

MEDIA RELEASE: Memorial to Slaughtered Geese Unveiled by Dr. Patch Adams as Activists Unite to Save Urbana’s Wild Animals

Urbana, Ill. (October 5, 2020) — In Defense of Animals and Friends of Geese united on Saturday, October 3 to memorialize the tragic loss of 175 geese and goslings who were mercilessly killed at Crystal Lake Park. The slaughter was ordered by the Urbana Parks District in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the United States Department of Agriculture on June 22, 2020. 

Activists gathered in-person and online to unveil a memorial sculpture honoring the slaughtered geese at the home of renowned and much-loved physician Dr. Patch Adams. The famed doctor is a prominent member of the newly-formed goose advocacy organization inaugurated on Saturday, Friends of Geese

The powerful tribute ceremony was planned in response to the controversial summer goose slaughter, which was vehemently opposed by many Urbana residents.

 

Watch this moving video of the memorial ceremony by In Defense of Animals on YouTube. See photos of the geese and their memorial ceremony here.

Dr. Patch Adams read a poem before unveiling the memorial sculpture to the slain geese. He says observing geese is good for your health, “I tell people that the number one medication in the world is the antidepressant. I’ve been a family doctor for 50 years and never once gave an antidepressant. Nature is one of the best treatments for depression. Fall in love with an animal and you experience love yourself, falling and rising. In protesting against the killing of the geese, my partner Susan and I have met fascinating people who know that the geese are an important part of their mental health. It’s free, with no side effects: to save the geese is to save ourselves.” 

In Defense of Animals and Friends of Geese intend to stop the killing cycle occurring on both a local and national scale. The Urbana Parks District called upon the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and USDA to do the dirty work of killing local geese while it embarked on a 2.5 million dollar renovation project to enhance the park. Friends of Geese members suspect that the Urbana Parks District goose killing contract with government agencies started to make way for this destructive renovation, which is currently ruining the habitat for all wild animals who live at Crystal Lake Park. 

Some supporters joined remotely with members of the newly inaugurated Urbana Friends of Geese to take part in the memorial ceremony. Photo: In Defense of Animals/Friends of Geese

Dozens of unsuspecting geese were rounded up during molting season, while they were flightless and defenseless. Terrified geese were herded, separated from their families, and gassed in mobile gas chambers while the remaining geese were vulnerable, terrified, and traumatized. Canada geese mate for life, but one gander was left without his mate to father their goslings and several others who were orphaned.

These scared goslings and their father watched helplessly as mothers and bonded life-partners were ruthlessly slaughtered this summer at Crystal Lake Park, despite public outcry and the availability of humane, non-lethal alternatives. Photo: Cynthia Adkins

Gassing was not designed for geese, who can hold their breath for prolonged periods of up to 45 minutes or more while the gas burns and freezes their lungs. Witnesses of similar gassing incidents report hearing geese banging and thumping, desperately to escape while they slowly suffocated in mobile gas chambers.

The District called this massacre a “charity harvest,” but no goose flesh was donated to food banks since pesticide-laden goose flesh is too toxic for food pantry patrons.

“I am heartbroken because these geese should never have been killed — but at the same time I am grateful to see so much support for Urbana’s geese,” said Lisa Levinson, of In Defense of Animals. “I hope that our efforts today bring more attention to the District’s mishandling of the situation, and that no more geese will be senselessly slaughtered in the future.” 

These scared goslings and their father watched helplessly as mothers and bonded life-partners were ruthlessly slaughtered this summer at Crystal Lake Park, despite public outcry and the availability of humane, non-lethal alternatives. Photo: Cynthia Adkins

Unless the features that attracted the geese to the area in the first place are changed through habitat modification, new geese will flock to the area and the endless cycle of killing will continue. Sadly, roundups don’t work and amount to nothing more than a waste of taxpayer’s money. Government agencies must stop relying on slaughtering geese since it merely perpetuates the problem, and instead focus on effective humane management.

On Saturday, October 10, Friends of Geese and In Defense of Animals will host a protest and march along University Avenue in Urbana to launch a billboard campaign against the Urbana Parks District with a strong message to “stop killing our geese.” 

In Defense of Animals established its National Goose Protection Coalition in 2019 to help concerned citizens stop lethal roundups in their communities. Caring members of the public should urge the Urbana Parks District to implement effective, non-lethal, and humane goose management strategies by taking action at: www.idausa.org/saveurbanageese.

 

 

Watch In Defense of Animals’ Goose Memorial Video: https://youtu.be/Epm29aN54fU

Watch the destruction of Crystal Lake Park: https://youtu.be/2Aquh8O9sS8

Images - available for use with credit per filename: http://bit.ly/RIPUrbanaGeesePix

Join the Stop Killing Our Geese Protest & Billboard Launch: https://www.facebook.com/events/976894346153727

Take action to stop future Urbana goose roundups: www.idausa.org/saveurbanageese

 

Contacts:

In Defense of Animals, Lisa Levinson, lisa@idausa.org, 215-620-2130
Friends of Geese, Dr. Susan Parenti, susanroseparenti@gmail.com, 217-344-1439

 

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 37-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats through education, campaigns, and hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org

Friends of Geese is a grassroots organization of people who fight for the protection of the Canada geese and their habitat at Crystal Lake Park and beyond. They work toward public engagement through education, direct outreach, network building, political demonstrations, and protests.

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