Shocked motorists stomped their breaks and swerved their automobiles attempting to avoid plowing into a disorganized flock of wild geese littering Flatbush Avenue late Tuesday afternoon. Bergen Beach resident Maria Martino couldnt believe her eyes when she saw the birds in the road many of them either already dead or dying as she piloted her car along Flatbush Avenue toward Kings Plaza at about 4 p.m. They were waddling around and being hit [by other cars], Martino said. They were coming from the golf course. Its so sad to see these animals dying. Police were called in and traffic was backed up along the roadway for a short time as authorities went about the grim task of collecting the animal carcasses. Some of them were partially decapitated, said Michael Pastore, director of Field Operations for Animal Care & Control. Authorities theorize that the flock of geese might have run into some overhead power lines near the Belt Parkway exit ramp and either got tangled up in the wires or somehow been electrocuted before dropping down into the roadway, disoriented. Pastore counted about 20 dead carcasses collected from the roadway. The Parks Department recovered most of them, but five birds were actually released back into the nearby golf course and three were taken back to Animal Care & Controls shelter for treatment. Two of the geese had to be euthanized. The third later died from its injuries. In the dozen years with Animal Care & Control, Pastore said he has never seen anything like what happened Tuesday afternoon on Flatbush Avenue. It was just a freak accident, he said. The bizarre episode had some like Martino wondering if the birds had been poisoned in some way. I dont know if theres some kind of contagion, Martino said. Id dont know whats been happening. The remains of two of the birds killed during the incident were sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation for tests. It will be a few weeks before the pathology report will be released, according to the Parks Department. There were no signs of malfeasance, Pastore said. Poisoning will affect an animal to the point where it cant fly any more. Authorities classified the doomed birds as Brandt Geese, similar to the Canada Goose, but smaller, and quite common in this part of the city.
©2006 Community News Group
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