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Reactions of goose being put down


Visitors to Cole County Park Lake in Jefferson City are used to seeing geese gathering in and out of the water.

By Carol Kim
October 14, 2007

Visitors to Cole County Park Lake in Jefferson City are used to seeing geese gathering in and out of the water.

Some residents were surprised when one of those geese had to be put down by the Cole County Sheriff's Department, even this one Jefferson City resident.

Farmer Harold Rydell was surprised to read in the paper about the death of his animal acquaintance.

'Gertrude the goose' is what Rydell and his friends would call him out in County Park Lake.

He said, "I was very depressed becuase it was like losing a friend actually. I always looked forward to it every morning and greet us."

The group even held a memorial service in honor of the goose at his favorite spot...right by the rock.

Others, however, had a different view about the animal.

Many complaints were filed at the Cole County Sheriff's department about it chasing people and trying to bite them.

For Captain Wheeler, trying to re-locate the goose failed, so they resorted to shooting it.

He said, "It's a sad deal, we didn't want to do it but unfortunately when you have to protect the public we do...We have to make some hard decisions."

Rydell knew the goose when he started walking in March, mondays through fridays.

Rydell says he could see how people could misinterpret the goose's behavior.

"It would come to you with it's mouth open and that's what we interpreted to be a greeting like a good morning. Some people thought it was there to bite them and certainly that wasn't the case."

Even though many complaints were filed against the animal, Rydell still stands his ground.

He says 'Gertrude the goose' was simply misunderstood.

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