Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
Noelridge Park is a popular spot for Cedar Rapids families.
"We love coming out here for the playground mostly," said Jenny Zaghloul, who lives in Cedar Rapids. "I have a three and a five-year-old so they love playing on the playground."
While kids love to play at the park, a remote control animal is they saw on the water wasn't their toy. In fact, it's a new tool called FIDO that the Parks and Recreation Department is using to control geese.
"FIDO is simply a targeted method to keep the geese at bay," said Daniel Gibbins, Cedar Rapids Parks Superintendent.
FIDO is short for Fowl Intercept & Dispersal Officer. When it's out on the water it doesn't scare ducks but terrifies the geese, the animals the city is having a problem with.
"Their droppings and their waste is becoming a major health hazard if we do not control it," said Gibbins. "Harassment of the geese, in a humane way, is one of the number one tactics the DNR suggests using."
Because geese fly south for winter, they're regulated federally and there's only so much the city can do.
"It is very difficult to make any impact on the overall population," said Gibbins.
They're left with trying to keep geese away from the most popular parks with tools like FIDO and some residents love the idea.
"They flied super fast," said four-year-old Nicholas.
"I think it's a really good idea to help keep them away, just scare them away in a safe way that will help to keep the geese from chasing my kids all the time, too," said Zaghloul.
City officials say they can't have a controlled hunt, or round up the geese and give them to a food pantry due to state and federal regulations.
Though they can ban people from feeding animals at city parks. In fact, that ban was passed by the city council last year.
Monday, September 1 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:41:17 GMT
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