Mayor Bloomberg has met the enemy — and it is the geese.
In his first public comments since his administration called in federal executioners to massacre 290 geese in Prospect Park, the mayor said he has little sympathy for the airplane-engine-destroying feathered fowl.
“[We have] to deal with the fact that geese are a danger to planes and people,” Bloomberg said in Greenpoint on Monday. “If geese were humans, I think you’d know my stance on that.”
He refused to take follow-up questions on the slaughter that still pains thousands of users of Prospect Park, where federal officials rounded up and gassed almost every goose in the park on July 8.
Bloomberg’s comments came in stark contrast to the more than 100 people who gathered for a memorial service on July 17. At that vigil, Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) even called the killings “a crime” and said he would demand changes in the city’s wildlife management strategy.
Still, the mayor is not likely to budge on his stance, which echoes that of the federal agency that carried out the extermination. The Department of Agriculture told us that whenever human safety is a concern, those geese will be cooked (metaphorically, of course).
“Eighty percent of birds strikes occur under 1,000 feet, when a plane is either taking off or landing,” said department spokeswoman Carol Bannerman. “That is a critical point when the plane is most vulnerable!”
Park and federal officials maintain that the Prospect Park slaughter was necessary to avoid another incident like the “Miracle on the Hudson” last year, when a passenger plane crash-landed on the Hudson River after geese slammed into its engines.