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DENVER — The controversial culling of geese at city parks will be halted for the rest of this year, Denver Parks and Recreation said Thursday.

Denver Parks and Recreation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture were given permission by U.S. Fish and Wildlife to capture and kill 2,200 Canada geese because of safety concerns with aggression and feces.

Denver Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Cyndi Karvaski said the number of geese taken is close to the limit so the culling is done for the year.

Karvaski said the city will evaluate the need to do the culling again next year.

The city received backlash for the decision, including protests at parks.

But Mayor Michael Hancock defended the move, saying the wast problem at city parks is a health hazard. The geese meat went to families in need.

“We have people who are food insecure. I think it’s an opportunity for us to help meet some of that need,” Hancock said.