Bad day if you were an animal activist or a Canada goose lover at Great Adventure on Sunday.


A Canada goose had gotten caught up in the conveyor belt of the Congo Rapids ride, and would not get off despite the prodding of the ride’s operator.

What to do?

The operator simply allowed the ride to continue as opposed to stopping the ride; which, according to a Great Adventure spokesperson, would have put passengers in danger.

Apparently what would have had to happen for animal activists to be satisfied would have been to stop the ride completely, allowing the gondolas to drift into the pond necessitating that guests would had to have been evacuated by rope.

A ride operator tried to coerce the goose to fly away, but it would not move, said Nicole Cora of Southington, Conn., who witnessed the ordeal. A staff member then decided to continue operating the ride, and the conveyer belt trapped and killed the goose as witnesses, including children, looked on, Cora said.

Rachel Ogden of GooseWatch NJ, which is devoted to the humane treatment of geese, said members of the group were “disturbed and saddened” by the event.

“Six Flags needs to develop procedures that respect the lives of animals caught in its rides, while taking into account the safety of its adult and child guests,” she said in a prepared statement. “We will be filing a request with the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) for an investigation into this incident.”

Six Flags spokeswoman Kristin Siebeneicher defended the decision of ride operators, and said stopping Congo Rapids would have put passengers in danger. In an emergency stop, rafts loaded with passengers would be flushed into the ride’s reservoir, and guests would have to be evacuated by rope, she said.

Susan Addelston of the Jackson Animal Welfare Committee said the decision to run the ride put profits at risk, not theme park patrons.

“Seems that if the park operators were truly concerned about conservation they would have hit the control to release all of the boats, then tried to free the goose that was caught,” she said.

Profits as opposed to the safety of the patrons at Great Adventure.

Sure, it’s disturbing to watch a goose die right in front of you, but then again, if the safety of the guests is jeopardized, what other recourse do you have.

Sorry goose!