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Oak Park Won’t Be Euthanizing Pigeons After All

A pigeon hangs out in Oak Park. The birds are leaving a lot of feces behind. (CBS)

A pigeon hangs out in Oak Park. The birds are leaving a lot of feces behind. (CBS)

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OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) — The Village of Oak Park has decided against a proposal to kill pigeons roosting under the Marion Street Metra train viaduct near the downtown shopping district.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the word came from Oak Park Village Board President David Pope at the start of the board meeting Monday night.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

“The pigeon problem will be addressed without resorting to the humane euthanization proposal,” Pope said as several people in the room applauded.

Still, some residents spoke against killing the birds after Pope’s announcement. Among those residents was Nancy Nimitz.

“Birds are a fabric of our lives and our existence. They belong here. They need to be valued rather than treated with disdain,” Nimitz said. “Why not spend money on programs that teach children about wildlife and birds? Let them embrace nature instead of teaching them to hate and destroy it.”

Another woman talked about pigeons as noble creatures, and said they are cleaner than humans.

But not everyone in Oak Park agrees on that point. CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reported last month that many Oak Park residents were complaining about the pigeon invasion – and the resulting pigeon feces invasion.

Resident Paul Beckwith told Bailey he personally has been defecated on by pigeons, and he doesn’t like the appearance.

Village leaders put up screens to keep out the birds, but even that proved insufficient. The village has spent more than $11,000 this year alone trying to keep the birds away.

If the plan for euthanizing the pigeons had gone ahead, the U.S. Department of Agriculture would have set up cages with food and water, trapped the pigeons, and transferred them into a chamber where carbon dioxide would be released to kill them, the Chicago Tribune explained earlier this week.