Yet more proof today that people can be smart and have no common sense. In this case, no common sense as it relates to wildlife. I suppose it could be there are too many people here that have no touch with agriculture or are PETA brainwashed or having no real understanding are “Bambi types” for lack of a better name or are nature lovers that don’t understand how Nature works.
People where I work just don’t seem to realize that stopping in the parking lot or access roads for a goose to wander down the middle of the road is insane. All it does is train the goose, while reinforcing the behavior of the people who stop, that there’s no danger to the goose from the cars. Heck, we have what could properly be termed a geese infestation here at work. It’s a standing joke here that we have attack geese guarding the place.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating we simply run them down, I’m not that mean. Except maybe on a really, really, really bad day.
The thing is, Pavlov showed that you can train animals to react to repeated sequences of actions. By repeatedly stopping for the geese and letting them dictate when drivers can use the road, they reinforce that lackadaisical behavior and reduce the fear that geese should have for vehicles. Naturally, humans being animals as well, Pavlov’s results also apply to humans. We call it habit.
I will slow down for them to give them a chance to get out of my way, but I don’t stop for them. They move or they get nudged. I don’t see any point in killing them by running them over, that’s a waste. But I also don’t see any point in not scaring them out of the way.
There’s a similar activity going on walking to the building from your car. People back off from the geese. HUH? People, we’re supposed to be higher up the food chain. I don’t know if it’s the size of the goose or what that’s scaring people, or if it’s the huge number of people scared of animal rights zealots that might be working here.
Sure, they’re nesting next to the sidewalks to the buildings. Guess why? Wrong. Its because the majority of people working here go out of their way to avoid them, so they nest where they want. If you’d just face them down or ignore them and just walk by, they’d start looking for a safer nesting location before laying their eggs. But no, we’ve trained them that they have the run of the place and us carnivores don’t. BAH.
I’ve had a couple of geese come at me in the parking lot or between the buildings. Big mistake. I just faced it and growled. When it stopped and I guess hissed at me, I just took another step forward. It came at me so I growled even louder, probably more on the order of snarling. That stopped that goose in its tracks. It ducked it’s head down almost to the ground and backed off. I went my merry way, keeping an eye on it as I passed to make sure it didn’t try a sneak attack. Sure enough, it came at me. I turned and snarled again. Same effect as last time, but this time it stayed put while I continued on my way.
This place is where we work. We have a park and ponds on the grounds. Let the geese share that pond and park. They don’t need to take over the area where visitors have to pass through, or we have to walk to the buildings we work in. They don’t need to dominate the access roads and parking lot. They need to be trained to avoid cars, not to expect the drivers to avoid them. Sure, we should avoid running them down, but the site attack geese no longer fear cars on the access roads or in the parking lots. That’s not good for the geese as not all the geese stay here year long. And there’s been at least one accident because of someone stopping for the geese.
About that last part of the first paragraph…I know. In a way, it’s Nature at work here, too.