SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — Maryland wildlife officials say they’ve euthanized nearly 400 geese in an effort to curb the excessive population.

U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman Kevin Sullivan told the Salisbury Daily Times his team “humanely euthanized” the Canada geese last week at the request city officials in Salisbury, Maryland.

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Sullivan said the goose overpopulation has inundated the city, leaving messy droppings, over-grazing plants, damaging the habitat and polluting the water.

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He said the geese were captured and a waterfowl processor humanely euthanized them with carbon dioxide gas before providing the meat to food shelters.

Sullivan said he believes this is the first time the city has turned to killing the geese in almost 15 years of population monitoring. In the past, officials used a slower method of poking holes in eggs.

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