Aggressive geese chasing kids and pets, raising a stink in Echo Park Lake

Rob Hayes Image
Saturday, September 23, 2023
Aggressive geese chasing kids, wreaking havoc in Echo Park Lake
The aggressive geese have been chasing children and small pets, the city says. The birds are also leaving behind a foul mess for parkgoers.

ECHO PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Echo Park Lake has had its problems over the years, especially with homeless encampments. But now there's another issue - geese.

The problem stems specifically from Canada geese, and officials say the birds are aggressive.

The city reports there's about 200 birds in the park, and they've been chasing children, dogs and leaving a mess.

"This past summer, the numbers were greater than 200. I walk around the lake every day and I've watched them increase," said Thomas DeBoe, a longtime Echo Park resident who noticed the recent growth of the goose population here.

During mating season, the geese can get louder and more aggressive. But regardless what time of year it is, a goose has to do what a goose needs to do - several times a day.

"They just keep coming and kept coming and kept coming, and with the geese came the poop," DeBoe said.

Echo Park's last few years have been challenging. Homeless encampments had swallowed up a large chunk of the park. That was then followed by a period of ugly fencing.

MORE: Echo Park Lake's fence starts coming down after 2 years

Crews began tearing down the fence surrounding Echo Park Lake Monday morning-- a campaign promise by Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez.

But now that those issues are solved, the geese are the latest problem.

"It was so bad I decided to get some poop shoes, shoes only to wear around the lake," DeBoe said.

DeBoe says other neighbors and parkgoers want the geese gone or at least back down to a manageable number. But it's not that simple, since they're federally protected.

Liliana Griego, the senior coastal program manager with Audubon California, says Canada geese are migratory, meaning they usually drop in to warmer climates during winter. But it appears that many of them are putting down roots here in the Southland.

"Some of these birds are pretty smart and they realize that they don't have to go back up north, and they can stay here in Southern California," Griego said.

ABC7 reached out to the L.A. Recreation and Parks Department but haven't heard back.