Robot Goosinators deployed to clean up Denver parks

The Goosinator inventors say what makes it a goose worst nightmare is that it zips as fast as 25 mph across land, water, ice and snow right to where the birds aren used to being chased.Tests on two lakes and the grass near the Denver Museum of Nature Science immediately scattered hundreds of geese. Instead of circling back, they landed on soccer fields to the west.just want to get their numbers down, parks deputy manager Scott Gilmore said. trying to mimic natural habitat because in urban parks we lack predators. problem: poop. canada goose jacket A single Canada goose drops at least 1 pound a day.Tens of thousands of geese migrate through Denver during winter and an estimated 700 live year round just in City Park. Warmer weather and protected habitat encourage more migrants to stay.want to encourage the geese to keep moving, Gilmore said.In City Park, carefully refurbished for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, geese graze on tall grass along the lakes shorelines. The route past a liberty sculpture is a green splotched minefield that parks crews struggle to keep clean.City officials say people complain up to 50 times a week about the mess in City Park.Across Denver, cleaning up after geese costs $500 to $1,000 a week.But Goosinating already is controversial.are geese supposed to go when the Goosinators harass them into leaving? said Cindy Yeast, who lives near City Park and helps injured geese. know people don like the goose poop. I don like it either. But are we supposed to rid the parks of wildlife just so people don step in poop? whose 82 decibel whine sounds like a weed whacker crossed with a blender, may drive geese to other parks, city animal and wildlife coordinator Doug Kelley said. If so, they be hazed away from that area. refuge may be water supply reservoirs surrounding the city.For years, park and golf course managers have grappled with geese. The big birds feed and breed easily across predator free landscapes, savoring the equivalent of a buffet on fertilized greenways and ponds. State laws allow humane hazing as long as it is not done between April 1 and Aug. 1, when geese may be nesting.Two Goosinators cost $3,000 each. Denver parks officials say they plan to purchase up to eight more to target geese at Sloan Lake, Harvey Park, Washington Park and elsewhere.They enlisting unpaid college interns to run the remote controlled Goosinators.Two years of tinkering by design engineer Randy Claussen and his brother in law, south metro golf course superintendent Mike Ratcliff, led to the Goosinator. Ratcliff had long lamented how he felt like an idiot chasing geese in golf carts and running around ponds clapping. They claim Goosinators, if used regularly, will get rid of 90 percent of geese in a park.Goosinators have been deployed on golf courses near New York and Boston, around the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., and at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.This will be cheaper than hiring dogs, which can cost $500 a week.While the new gizmos may spook the birds, they unlikely to have lasting effects, said Terry Hardey, who for 11 years has run Hardey Border Collie Goose Patrol.

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