Updated: 5 days ago
MENTOR, OHIO - In a unanimous decision that underscores its commitment to public health, the Mentor City Council has passed Ordinance No. 23-0-077, effectively classifying the Canada goose as a "Nuisance Health Risk Animal." This city-wide decree, which takes effect immediately, prohibits residents from knowingly harboring or feeding these birds.
Canada geese, despite their serene appearance and status as a federally protected migratory species, have become a significant concern in Mentor. Their increasing numbers in the city have been linked to an escalation in health risks for humans, domestic animals, and other native species.
By feeding these birds, we unknowingly encourage them to deviate from their natural migratory patterns. The artificial food source tempts them to extend their stay and even establish permanent residence in our city. More alarmingly, this normalization with human contact can lead to an increase in health risks associated with their fecal matter.
An average Canada goose can produce between one to one-and-a-half pounds of feces daily, with bowel movements occurring as frequently as every twenty minutes. These droppings can carry harmful bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E Coli), Listeria moncytogenes, Salmonella, and Campylobacter jejuni. When these bacteria contaminate our ponds and puddles, they pose a significant health threat.
The new ordinance aims to curb this growing problem by making the feeding and harboring of these nuisance animals a fourth-degree misdemeanor in the city of Mentor. As we take this step to safeguard our community's health, we also hope to restore the natural balance between humans and wildlife in our beloved city.
This momentous decision by the Mentor City Council is a testament to its proactive approach towards maintaining a healthy and safe environment for all its residents. It serves as a reminder that while we appreciate and respect all wildlife, we must also take necessary measures to ensure that their presence does not compromise public health.