Birds dumped at ceme­tery

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH - KIRSTY LAWRENCE

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.

PHOTO: DAVID UN­WIN/STUFF

A plaque has been placed un­der a tree in the Kelvin Grove ceme­tery for a rooster the city coun­cil killed.

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