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‘A mess you can step in’

East Syracuse Mayor addresses growing goose population at Walmart pond

Geese eat bagels left behind by visitors to the pond next to the East Syracuse Walmart.

Geese eat bagels left behind by visitors to the pond next to the East Syracuse Walmart. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— Just like the goslings that inhabit the pond next to the East Syracuse Walmart, the area’s Canadian geese population is growing.

Mayor Danny Liedka calls it “a mess.”

“A mess you can step in, too,” he said.

Liedka brought up the goose problem at the June 4 village board meeting.

“I see people feeding them every day, and I don’t know anyone who’s driven through there that hasn’t had to stop,” he said. “There are hundreds of families of geese there. Not only the waste, it delays traffic, gets people’s eyes off the road — I’m surprised we haven’t had an accident.”

The pond was part of the original site plan when the Walmart was first built. But the store is in the midst of an expansion, which opened the site plan up for review last year, Liedka said.

“So then you can make certain demands,” he said. “And that was my demand – to get this wildlife issue resolved.”

Liedka said the village has requested Walmart have a taller fence erected around the pond.

“We asked as part of their site plan to put a really tall fence around it so people can’t feed the animals, and [the geese would] be discouraged from having more families there because there’s two months out of the year where they can’t fly,” he said.

Liedka has also contacted the store manager asking for a sign to be posted discouraging people from feeding the waterfowl.

Liedka has some knowledge on goose habits from personal experience controlling the goose population; he uses his German shepherd, Bruin, to scare geese away from Olde Oak Golf Course in Kirkville, where he is a member. He calls it a hobby, but a few years ago it was a business serving “quite a few golf courses and some schools.”

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