This morning at 9AM I received a phone call from Jeffrey Kramer, our volunteer who was on patrol at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, to let me know that the USDA was there and they were "definitely" going to round up geese. I immediately got out an emergency alert phone call, and I contacted Andrew DellaPietra, President of MobileMatters.org
, who was able to distribute an emergency text message alert as well. I also spoke with Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals
, so she could begin to contact media outlets. I got in the car and drove to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
When I arrived at the Visitor Center there was a police vehicle parked in front of the building, I walked past it and into the lobby where I signed in. I was having trouble getting a hold of Jeffrey and I didn't know where to go, so I started walking towards West Pond, and that is where I saw the USDA vehicles. I watched the geese thump against the crates struggling to get out. I was threatened with arrest more than once. I was alone, and I did the best I could to document the roundups, at the same time I was receiving dozens of calls. I am heartbroken and angry.
I don't think there was anything I could have done to stop the roundups this morning. I am grateful to those of you who were able to make it out this morning, your presence was incredibly helpful, especially Jeffrey and Dennis.
Here are the videos and photos I took, please share these far and wide:
Videos on Youtube:
Photos on Facebook:
Hopefully, we'll get press coverage and attention on this issue, so New Yorkers can know what it looks like when taxpayer dollars are used to pay federal agents to kill wildlife in public parks. The NY Times City Room covered today's roundup at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/annual-goose-roundup-under-way-in-jamaica-bay/?_r=0
I am more committed than ever to fighting these roundups in NYC, and everywhere. It is disgusting and cruel, it doesn't accomplish anything, and it needs to end. I am also determined to get to the merits of this issue, and
reveal what we know, that not only are these killings cruel, they are not done for human health or safety, they are motivated by profit and greed.
We are currently discussing what our next steps will be, and I will be in touch with more information as soon as possible. In the meantime, please call your elected officials about what happened today, call the Mayor, and call National Park Service and share your view that a wildlife refuge is supposed to be just that, not a killing field.
National Park Services Deputy Superintendent Suzanne McCarthy: 917-731-1997
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: 718-354 4602
Mayor Bloomberg: 212-788-3000
Senator Gillibrand: 212-688-6262
Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
As I said, I will be in touch with more information as soon as possible. There is much more to say, obviously. Thank you for all of your support, your help, and your compassion.
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