Approximately a dozen supporters of the Enchanted Lake geese and ducks showed up at a rally this morning to save them at their current location on Keolu Drive in Kailua.
Enchanted Lake resident Jan Cook organized the rally on Election Day, and set up a table and box where passersby could vote to either let the ducks and geese stay on the 2-acre parcel or remove them, with additional space for comments.
Late last month, Kamehameha Schools said it would hold off on removing the ducks and geese from the 2-acre parcel it owns by the lake near the Akipohe Street intersection after public outcry over social media as well as the nextdoor.com social network for the neighborhood.
Kamehameha Schools spokeswoman Liz Ahana said efforts to remove the ducks and geese were in response to complaints over safety issues, but that it would work with the community to rehome them.
Many families with kids stop on the sidewalk by the parcel near the Akipohe Street intersection to feed bread to the ducks and geese on the other side of the chain-link fence.
The dumping of chickens and other animals at the site appears to be a prevalent problem. For months, a fading, handwritten sign on the fence has informed the public that it is illegal to do so, and offers a phone number for someone to pick them up for free instead. At one time a few years ago, there were also numerous pigeons at the site.
“First of all, these are community ducks,” said Enchanted Lake resident Caroline Viola. “People who walk by everyday look forward to seeing them. The children love them and they love to feed them bread, or vegetables or fruit. And they’re a fixture in the community. They’ve never caused any problems. They are not a safety concern.”
Viola said that she wanted the fowl to remain where they are rather than be relocated.
“They’re not spreading any diseases, they’re not going into people’s yards,” she said. “They only stay in the fenced area by the lake.”
Cook said only five elderly geese remain on the parcel, where they have lived more than 12 years, and that she believes the vast majority of the community wants them to stay. In addition to the geese, there are ducks that fly in and out, and many native and non-native birds.
She said she would send the unofficial vote results to Kamehameha Schools and post them to the My Kailua group on Facebook.
The supporters held signs that said: “Vote to Save the Birds,” “Kids are for the birds” and “Honk if you love geese,” and received a few honks from drivers passing by.
Second-grader Aeden Perez made his own “Save the Geese!!” sign, with a photo of himself as a 3-year-old feeding the geese, and “#birdlivesmatter” as well as “#notinmykailua.”
Mark Pitzer, another resident who lives just a few homes away from the parcel, held a bright yellow “Save the Geese” sign.
“You would simply think that the spirit of aloha would dictate that we leave them alone,” he said. “Leave the geese in peace. I consider them my friends. I come see them every day and talk to them.”
Kamehameha Schools, which had said it was taking steps to address complaints by removing non-native ducks, geese and chickens, said it had no new developments to report, and that it still wanted to work with the community to find a solution. Cook said the supporters planned to rally throughout the day today.
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