Saturday, November 8, 2014

"All That is Nice to Soon Be No More"



Central Park carriage horse. Nice, but he won't win you a trophy.
Canada goose, Boat Lake in Central Park. Nice, but considered, "nuisance."
Banner in Central Park.
Another CP banner.
Central Park, apparently one big, treadmill.

Below is a news video from Indiana showing ("Get the Flock Out") Geese Police in action to get rid of "fowl visitors."  (Geese Police has also been operating in Central Park, New York City over the past several years.)
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Toward the end of the video, we are told, "They're so good, they are putting themselves out of work!"
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But, of course, it isn't really Geese Police "putting themselves out of work."  They are merely a disbursement tool.
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Rather, it is the wildlife policies of cities, states and communities that will eventually make Geese Police a tool of the past. -- Policies of expanded hunting and wildlife "culls."  
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In New York for example, hundreds of thousands of geese have been shot by hunters over the past several years and more than five thousand NYC geese rounded up and slaughtered by USDA "Wildlife Services."
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Thus, Geese Police in Central Park has very little actual "work" to do anymore. Though Geese Police still patrols CP everyday, even they don't bring out the dogs to harass the family of four geese at the Boat Lake or the couple of geese who might wander into Harlem Meer on occasion.
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It is in fact, surprising that Geese Police is still employed in Central Park considering the severely anemic number of resident geese there. Apparently, they are engaged in Central Park now to ensure that the migratory geese don't get chance to rest on any of the park's lakes or ponds. This is truly a sad reflection on our city's (and Central Park's specifically) intolerance for any wildlife -- even that simply passing through during migration seasons and seeking brief rest.
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(On the latter note, it is interesting to observe that virtually all migratory geese passing through Central Park over the past few years, stop to rest at the Jackie Onassis Reservoir -- the one watercourse, they are not harassed because of lack of access. This is seeming testimony to the intelligence and memory of Canada geese to learn and adapt quickly. Very few migratory geese actually stop at the other CP watercourses anymore. -- Perhaps something Geese Police should be worried about as there truly is no "need" for them anymore. -- Add Geese Police to upcoming unemployment lines)
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In yesterday's blog entry, I mentioned mute swans who used to live in Central Park, but exist no more there.
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The last swan, "Hector" was in fact, harassed out of Central Park a year ago, last April. Its not clear if it was all the fishing occurring at Harlem Meer at the time or Geese Police that ultimately forced Hector out after he had spent the entire winter at the Meer. Likely, it was a combination of both.
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But, the bottom line is that Hector has never been seen since.
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All that was nice and is no more.
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Also mentioned in yesterday's blog entry is the fact that a bill was passed by the state legislation to protect mute swans (for two years) from the state's intent to "eradicate" all of them by 2025. But, the bill has failed to be signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
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Sadly, in NYC, most of the focus on animal issues has been directed towards the non-issue of carriage horses. (Apparently, geese, swans and other wildlife can go to hell -- which is exactly what's happening. Our city shelter system is also a mess, but apparently dying dogs and cats don't matter either.)
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One suspects that the main reason carriage horses have been so fiercely targeted in NYC is because the horses are highly visible and easily accessible for endless "protests" (unlike most situations of actual animal abuse). The carriage industry is comparatively small and horse drivers and owners are not heavily financed or politically connected. (e.g "soft target")  Moreover, one could argue (or rather whine and complain) that a horse carriage ride through Central Park is "not necessity."
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Rather, a horse carriage ride through Central Park is simply nice. 
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Just like seeing swans, geese and other wildlife in Central Park is simply nice -- but also not necessity.
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And perhaps in the end, that is what all these conflicts eventually boil down to: 
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When is it appropriate to throw out all that is nice in favor of that which is convenient, sterile, inanimate, trophy driven or manufactured (can one say, "E-cars")?
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In recent weeks, banners have been hung all around Central Park celebrating "your moment" as represented by marathon runs, bicycling and other forms of exercise.  -- As if the park was nothing more than one big, outdoor gym. (This is a bit ironic considering two people killed by speeding cyclists in CP over the past few months and dozens of others injured.)
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But, there are no banners celebrating the "unnecessary" geese, swans or carriage horses.
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They apparently have nothing to offer but niceness.
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Yesterday, I talked with my friend, Liliana who is as much an "animal nut" as I. Liliana loves all animals and is disheartened seeing so much of the wildlife disappear or be harassed and/or eggs destroyed at Central Park.  She is also distressed about the campaign to "rid" Central Park of its beautiful carriage horses.
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"Are we going to pet or give carrots to an ugly car?" she asked.
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Good question.
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I suggested to Liliana that if she wants to engage with or enjoy very alive carriage horses, she had better do it soon.
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 "Because, just like the swans and geese, all that is simply nice is soon to be no more." -- PCA
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2 comments:

portwashguy said...

You've really opened my eyes to the treatment of geese and swans in the Park and elsewhere. Is there any "action" group as we have for the carriage horses?

PCA said...

Portwashguy: Please go to GoosewatchNYC on Facebook and/or Call of the Canada Geese. These sites keep up on latest developments regarding geese, swans and other wildlife. If not on FB, you can Google "Geese" (or other wildlife) on Google News everyday to also keep abreast of news. I am pretty sure GoosewatchNYC would also come up on a Google search. Thanks so much for caring and inquiring.