MENTOR, Ohio (WJW) — Mentor city councilmembers on Tuesday night approved an ordinance declaring Canada geese as a “nuisance health risk animal,” which now prohibits people from keeping or feeding them.
The federally protected migratory species of waterfowl “can be found in significant numbers in the city,” according to a Wednesday news release. But now that they’re considered a nuisance animal, feeding or harboring them is a fourth-degree misdemeanor in Mentor.
Feeding them makes them more comfortable around humans and encourages them to stick around, contaminating waters with feces and possibly attacking adults, children or pets, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which urges simply: “DO NOT FEED GEESE.”
“Most people will welcome and start feeding the first pair of geese on their pond, but these geese will soon wear out their welcome,” reads the department’s website. “In just a few years, a pair of geese can easily become 50 to 100 birds. The feces will foul the areas around the pond and surrounding yards and also damage the lawn, pond and other vegetation.”
An average goose can poop about 1 1/2 pounds per day, as frequently as every 20 minutes, according to the city. Goose poop carries bacteria like E. coli, listeria, Salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni, contaminating nearby ponds and puddles.