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New efforts to try to solve feral cat problem at Hawaii Kai Park & Ride

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Apr 12 2013 10:52:35 PM HST
Updated On: Apr 13 2013 06:26:54 AM HST

First there were about 20, now there's almost 100. Volunteer cat caregivers say there are too many feral cats at the Hawaii Kai Park and Ride.

HONOLULU -

First there were about 20; now there's almost 100. Volunteer cat caregivers say there are too many feral cats at the Hawaii Kai Park & Ride.

"In 2008 it really started growing it went from like 25 to 30. The population was way down, now they are getting close to 50, 75, up, up, even higher," said Steve Geimer a volunteer cat caregiver.

Now, volunteers who take care of the cats want a new strategy.

"If we had a place to move them to a nice home or something else then we wouldn't have to bring them back to the park and ride," said Geimer.

Students from the University of Hawaii are wrapping up a month-long survey of what residents in the area think should happen.

"Some of the options we have on our survey is a trap and neuter release program, euthanization, relocation, enclosing the area and eliminating cat feedings," said UH student Anela Whisenhunt.

Volunteer cat caregivers do a trap and release program and try to adopt out the cats, but those surveying found that strategy isn't bringing the numbers down, forcing those in the area to try to navigate around the cats.

"We spoke to an employee over at one of the stores across the street and he had mentioned that he had run over a cat that very day in the parking lot across the street," said UH student Stephanie Nagai.

And despite signs to not feed the cats, volunteers say other people are still leaving food.

"They will go to Costco and buy a 25-pound (bag) of cat food and lay it all over the parking lot, which causes a great big problem," said Geimer.

Volunteers also claim it's not just a cat problem now as people are dropping off all kinds of pets.

"That place is surrounded by water and a very busy street so chickens, cats, and roosters and pheasants don't just show up there," said Geimer.

The students doing the survey will analyze the information they gather and bring what residents want to do with the cats to the neighborhood board at the end of April.

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