Goose cull alarms West Kelowna woman

Local woman calls for change in cull practices

A horrific sight along a usually picturesque walking route has one West Kelowna woman calling for change.

Diana Bertucci was walking her dog along West Kelowna’s waterfront near Gellatly Bay when she witnessed a man in an unmarked vehicle get out of his truck with a rifle, and walk into a vacant horse field.

“It’s a busy pedestrian area, so I wondered ‘what is this guy doing?’” she said.

“Then I watched him shoot geese.”

It was shocking to watch geese being shot in the middle of the day, but what came next was even more alarming.

“I saw him go up to the geese, pull off their heads and throw them in the field,” she said. “I said, ‘what are you doing?’ I was absolutely traumatized.”

She walked up to him to find out and the man told her not to worry, he had a permit and showed it to her. They called the RCMP who confirmed that there was someone in the area who had the permit issued by Conservation BC. Another call to Conservation BC confirmed that the licence was issued.

That, however, has been of no consolation.

“I was just gobsmacked,” she said. “How is it OK for a guy with a weapon, in a high traffic area, to shoot geese and then pull off their heads?”

The man told her that the reason for the destruction of the bird carcass would be a deterrent for the return of other birds, but Bertucci said the geese were back the next day anyway.

Beyond matters of technique, however, she hopes that nobody else has to witness the act in the future.

“I said, ‘do you realize how this looks and how traumatizing it is?’” she said.

The cull took place at around 4 p.m. in an area where a lot of children tend to be and she thinks that should change before any more people are witness to the carnage.

“People walk their dogs there for a nice and peaceful experience, but to see a guy with a rifle pulling heads off geese in a field …. I do not want this to continue,” she said. “There has to be another way, I don’t care how much money the property owner has, they have to consider their neighbours.”

The City of West Kelowna say they’ve had only one complaint about the cull and the RCMP were unable to find any complaints, other than Bertucci’s when contacted.

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