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Gator-aid: decoy targets geese

A faux alligator head was installed at Applewood Pointe to fend off the growing goose population. Submitted photo

Geese seem to be everywhere in Woodbury during summer months, and a resident at one senior housing complex are taking a unique approach to the problem.

Applewood Pointe senior housing resident Jim Orsello installed an alligator head decoy in the pond area.

"So far, such efforts seem to be working out satisfactorily for Applewood Pointe of Woodbury -- with fingers crossed," resident Herb Gustafson said.

Orsello got the idea while visiting family at a gated community in St. Louis.

Geese deterrents were installed on the community's golf course and the problem disappeared, he said.

The Canada goose population has dramatically increased in residential and lake home areas across the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The reason for that is because habitat is abundant, geese have a high reproductive potential -- they're able to reproduce at 2 or 3 years old -- and the mortality from hunting and other predation is low.

The DNR reports that geese feed on short grasses like those found in parks, lawns and golf courses.

"At normal reproduction and mortality, a pond or lake with three pairs of adult geese can multiply to nearly 50 birds within five years and to over 300 in just 10 years," according to the DNR.

Additionally, about 25,000 geese spend the summer in the Twin Cities metro area and without hunting season and efforts to remove the geese, the population would likely top 100,000.

The most effective way to control the goose population is hunting, according to the DNR. Local governments are encouraged to keep goose-hunting open where possible.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.