Birds dumped at cemetery
Roosters and chickens have met their maker among the gravestones.
A group roosters and chickens that have been calling a Palmerston North cemetery home, have crowed their last song.
Kelvin Grove Cemetery regular Damien, who only wanted his first name used, said four roosters and three chickens had been strutting about the graveyard for several years.
But when he went for his regular visit this week, instead of finding the friendly birds, he discovered evidence of fowl play; a handmade memorial for the late ‘‘Henry’’, one of the roosters.
The plaque read: ‘‘In memory of Henry the rooster. Slaughtered by PNCC.’’
After inquiring with Palmerston North City Council, Damien said he was told the whole brood had been killed last week.
He was appalled the cull had not been discussed with the public beforehand.
‘‘It made a lot of people happy, it was like life amongst death.
‘‘People have been coming up to me and said ‘how disgusting, they killed those roosters without asking’.’’
He said he used to go up to the cemetery every second day and he would feed the brood. ‘‘They didn’t really cause any harm.’’ Damien said the roosters and chickens could have been re-homed if people had been given the opportunity.
City council parks and property manager John Brenkley said unwanted poultry had been dumped at the cemetery for some time.
He said originally there were two to three roosters and most people were not concerned about them. But recently that number had expanded.
‘‘There must have been someone dumping a whole lot more recently, so the population was no longer two to three, it was getting up towards 15.’’
These birds were all roaming free in the cemetery, so Brenkley said a cull was needed.
‘‘It was just an operational thing when you get up to that number.’’
Brenkley said he didn’t know if the council had looked into the option of trying to get the birds re-homed.
‘‘Maybe we could have contacted the SPCA.’’
He was also not aware of the plaque put up at the cemetery.
In November 2017, Stuff reported that roosters had been causing problems at the cemetery.
‘‘There have been several occasions where roosters have been left at the Kelvin Grove cemetery and caused some nuisance, including defecating on headstones and attacking visitors,’’ policy analyst Lili Kato said at the time.
A plaque has been placed under a tree in the Kelvin Grove cemetery for a rooster the city council killed.