Elizabeth Hughes is an animal lover, so when she heard a Wisconsin town wants to exterminate Canada geese, she wanted to work to save them.
Hughes, 18, of Cary, who attends Green Hope High School, follows a lot of animal rescue websites and saw that Mondovi, Wisc. planned to exterminate Canada geese that residents of the town said had become a nuisance.
So Hughes started a petition to stop the town from exterminating the geese. The petition had more than 19,800 supporters as of Tuesday with a goal of 20,000.
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The town said on its Facebook page that it was working with the USDA to “conduct a goose roundup” sometime after this Thursday.
Hughes’ petition alleged that the geese would be exterminated in a inhumane way.
“This barbaric practice consists of geese flocks being rounded up, thrown in a gas chamber, and left to die as they watch their mates and babies die an agonizing death,” Hughes’ petition reads. “There are numerous humane alternatives to control the geese population. The Humane Society of the United States of America recommends site aversion and egg addling as effective solutions to overpopulation. Please urge the city to seek out these alternatives, and not resort to senseless cruelty.”
Bradley Hanson, Mondovi city administrator, declined to comment on what a “roundup” of the geese would entail. Hanson referred further questions to the USDA, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The city received a flood of negative comments, reviews and other posts on its Facebook page. In response, the city said it would censor those comments and could take legal action against them.
“We appreciate the feedback that is constructive, supportive, and factual. Allegations and personal opinions will be removed. Additionally, the City of Mondovi will save and preserve any defamation and slanderous statements for possible future evidence, and potential legal action.”
Hughes has been volunteering at the SPCA of Wake County, and follows other animal advocacy groups online. She heard about the Mondovi geese from the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue Facebook page and “immediately took action to do something about it.”
She started the petition “to reach as many people as possible to stop the cruelty.”
Hughes’ mom, Filiz, said their family has a geese family that traverses their yard from time to time, so they’re familiar with the birds.
“My daughter's efforts are important to reach people and show them there are many other options to solve the problem,” Filiz Hughes said. “These humane methods should be used as opposed to ruthlessly killing the geese families in gas chambers during their most vulnerable time period, in which they cannot fly due to molting (their feathers are growing).”
Hughes’ petition reached across the globe, her mom said, and more signatures come in every day.
“This was a big accomplishment for her to reach out to as many people as she could who shared the same empathy as my daughter.”
For more information on Hughes’ petition, go to www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/117/121/857.