(Picture left: "Father Love." -- The daddy goose at Turtle Pond tenderly tending to gosling in mid May.)
On Monday, the answer emerged. Wildlife biologists and technicians had descended on the park Thursday morning and herded the birds into a fenced area. The biologists, working with the federal Agriculture Department, then packed the geese two or three to a crate and took them to a nearby building where they were gassed with lethal doses of carbon dioxide, Carol A. Bannerman, a spokeswoman, said.
Susan Elbin, conservation director at New York City Audubon, was cautiously supportive of the mass euthanizing.
Seth Kaplan, a teacher who lives two blocks from Prospect Park, said he was crushed when he heard what had happened. Mr. Kaplan, who spends nearly every day in the park, had recently circulated a video of the goslings.
Gone in the roundup, apparently, was a goose known alternately as Sticky or Target, who was discovered with an arrow through his neck last month. Park rangers tried and failed to catch the bird in a bid to nurse him back to health.
City parks officials granted signed permission for the removal of the birds but said they had not been notified of the specifics. They declined to comment further, referring the matter to the Agriculture Department.
In the early 1900s, Canada geese were nearly extinct. In an effort to rebuild the population, they were brought to New York from the Midwest. In the 1930s, geese were added to be hunted.