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Troublesome geese euthanized, residents want to know why

OAKLAND (WGME) -- A gaggle of geese causing a ruckus and a mess on the Oakland Town Beach are now dead.

The birds were euthanized and now animal lovers are asking why.

Residents say for years they could barely walk along the town beach without running into geese or stepping on their droppings.

People enjoying the beach on Tuesday said they're thrilled to see it cleaned up, but disappointed with the way experts solved the problem.

I don't really think they should have euthanized them, said Augusta resident Phyllis Strout.

The US Department of Agriculture captured the 18 Canada geese Friday and then made the decision to euthanize them.

Oakland Town Manager Peter Nielsen refused to answer questions on camera Tuesday because he says he has received too much backlash since last week.

He did, however, defend town officials by saying they tried everything to mitigate the problem before calling in the USDA.

We worked with Oakland to take a lot of approaches to try and resolve the issue, explained Maine Wildlife Biologist Kendall Marden.

He says common efforts like reminding people not to feed the geese, putting up barriers on the property, and harassing the animals just didnt work.

But people still want to know why the USDA decided to kill the animals instead of relocating them.

"Moving them from one place to another just causes other people problems and likely they would just return because they do have wings and geese can fly, Marden explained.

Marden knows that euthanizing isn't the most popular option, but he says in some cases it's necessary to control the increasing goose population in Maine.

I dont agree with killing them, said Winslow resident June Hamlin. But I'm glad they're doing something at the beach."

Nielsen says he was aware that euthanizing the birds was a possibility, but says he made it clear to the USDA that the town wanted them relocated.

He says he was surprised and saddened on Monday to learn the birds had been killed.

CBS13 News has not been able to connect with the USDA to find out why officials there decided that euthanizing the geese was the best possible option.