YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mill Creek MetroParks is reminding park goers of a house keeping rule, don’t feed the wildlife.
There are signs posted just about everywhere in Mill Creek Park reminding park goers they cannot feed animals in the park. It is a violation and a citation will be issued.
Right now, the park has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to feeding the wildlife. Metroparks police officers have always enforced the rule, but Chief Jim Willock said with the recent geese issue, officers are now issuing citations.
“In the last two weeks we have issued five citations. Two were at Yellow Creek Park in Struthers, which is one of our parks, and the other ones were in Mill Creek,” Willock said.
The maximum fine for a citation is $150. Mill Creek MetroParks Spokesperson Samantha Villella said park officials understand feeding animals at places like the Lily Pond is a tradition for a lot of families, but it just can’t happen anymore.
“A parent or grandparent has done it and back then there were a lot of reasons and a variety of reasons that that was not a big deal,” Villella said. “But today it is very harmful to the animals.”
Willock said when it comes to juveniles that violate the rule; they will try to correct the behavior instead of putting it in the system.
Mill Creek MetroParks was recently overrun with Canada geese and a controlled kill was conducted where over 200 geese were euthanized. Wildlife experts with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said that the constant food supply disturbed the birds’ migratory nature.