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'Goosebuster' drone chases away geese in Ottawa

Aug. 27, 2013 at 5:50 PM

OTTAWA, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Ottawa city officials have hired a photographer to use his remote controlled camera drone to scare geese away from Petrie Island.

Steve Wambolt, the owner of Aerial Perspective, said he originally approached Ottawa officials about using his drone for photography jobs, but the officials had a different idea, ABC News reported Tuesday.

"I solicited the city for a photography opportunity," he told ABC News. "But they asked if I could use them to get rid of the geese."

Ottawa City Councilor Bob Monette said the problem isn't with the geese themselves, but with their droppings.

"It's their excrement," he said. "Each goose can produce 1 1/2 pounds of feces per day."

"We take an E.coli count every day at Petrie Island," Monette said. "The Department of Health has strict rules that if the count is higher than 100, people are not allowed to swim. Last year, the east beach at Petrie Island was closed a total of 13 days due to high E.coli counts."

Monette said the E.coli count has dropped since the "Goosebuster" drone started buzzing the big birds in July.

"This year, since the pilot project [started] in late July, the beach has not been closed once," he said. "There could be many factors incorporated with the [E.coli] counts, but I believe that the Goosebuster has had a major effect on allowing the residents to use the beach all summer long."

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