Picture the scene: It’s a crisp summer evening and you’re enjoying a nice walk down the canal. Suddenly, a swarm of angry geese blocks your path. What do you do? Many people aren’t actually sure if geese are dangerous or not and many would simply turn around and walk in the opposite direction. Here at WildThings, we take a closer look at geese behaviour and answer the question everyone is dying to know; are geese actually dangerous?
Why do geese act out aggressively?
If you’ve ever wondered why geese seem to be so angry, there’s actually a very good reason. They act out aggressively as they’re very protective of their young and don’t like sharing space with humans or other animals. If they feel their eggs or goslings are under threat, they’ll do everything in their power to keep them safe. If that means a fight, so be it.
Can geese actually hurt you?
Humans are very rarely attacked by geese, but it does happen. They’re very territorial animals and can certainly cause injury if they do decide to attack you. Geese may bite or hit you with their exceptionally strong wings and can occasionally cause a serious injury. Don’t worry, they usually only attack when provoked, so as long as you respect their boundaries you should be fine.
What should you do if you cross paths with a gaggle of geese?
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. If possible, try to give the gaggle a wide berth when passing and make sure to do so slowly, in a non-threatening way. The gaggle of geese will most certainly keep a close eye on you as you pass but as long as you don’t do anything to escalate the situation, your walk should remain uneventful.
What should I do if I’m attacked by geese?
Firstly, don’t panic and try to display a calm demeanour towards your attacker. Don’t respond by hitting back or raising your voice, as this will likely aggravate the goose more. It’s crucial that you stand your ground and maintain eye contact with the goose, with your body facing them. Running away or turning your back will only prolong the attack. Standing your ground is the best way to get the goose to back off.
So, are geese actually dangerous?
The simple answer is, yes, they can be. Geese like their own space and aren’t a massive fan of humans. Normally, if you mind your own business, they’ll mind theirs. Having said that, if a goose feels threatened, they can cause harm to the perceived threat so it’s always worth keeping this in mind. Ultimately, geese are wild animals and we should all do our best to give them space and respect their boundaries.
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