BY BETH CROUSE
As a long, chilly winter gives way to warmer temperatures and sunny skies, most people rejoice in the return of spring. Although retiring heavy coats, boots and mittens is a welcomed notion, the return of walking, honking, aggressive birds is far from ideal.
At Conestoga College’s Doon campus, we proudly boast impressive grounds complete with trees, sprawling lawns and a pond. However, it’s these sprawling lawns and pond that attract the least welcomed visitors to our grounds, Canada geese.
Despite having our country’s name, Canada geese have become notorious for their aggressive, territorial nature and for being a general nuisance. Not only do these geese walk unimpeded around the campus, the mess they leave behind is gross. These pests are found everywhere where water is available which makes Doon campus a frequent home to these two-footed terrors.
With spring flowers comes mating season and soon little goslings will be strutting their new feathers across the sidewalks while their proud parents will be on red-alert for any perceived threat.
We could praise these creatures for their instincts, but it’s these parental instincts that cause enormous problems.
There have been too many situations where students have been chased indoors and prevented from venturing out for fear of being attacked. Students are forced to maintain a safe distance from these birds, which are free to roam unchecked across the campus, or else face a fury of feathers and beaks.
If a student does come under attack and defends himself, he is then publicly reprimanded and faces further, more severe punishment for harming a protected Canadian icon.
Although the birds are protected by federal law, Conestoga College should put its responsibility for students’ safety ahead of its responsibility to these webbed-footed pests. Deterrents, such as noise makers, should be put in place to kindly suggest to these migratory birds that their presence is no longer welcomed.
In North America the Canada goose population is on the rise. Conestoga does not have to roll out the welcome mat every spring to these returning fowl. There are plenty of other places these feathered foes can go to nest and set up house. Students shouldn’t be forced to choose between battling a wild goose or enjoying some fresh air on their break.
It’s time to tell these web-footed fiends that enough is enough.
It’s time to start saying “no” to geese and “yes” to freedom.