As Sullivan’s Pond reopened last weekend, Dartmouthians may have noticed one fewer goose hanging around.
That’s because one of the (in)famous geese has been removed due to aggressive behaviour, the municipality confirmed Wednesday.
Nine geese were dropped off on April 20 — a few weeks later than usual due to COVID-19, as the city didn’t want to encourage gawkers congregating around the closed park. There are now eight geese at the pond.
“Parks staff received reports of one of the geese exhibiting aggressive behaviour when park users got too close,” municipal spokesperson Maggie-Jane Spray said in an email Wednesday.
The geese went back to their winter home, Seaforth, N.S. sanctuary Hope for Wildlife, early last fall after one of them attacked an elderly woman. Staff previously believed that goose had been successfully rehabilitated.
“This behavior was not witnessed while housed at Hope for Wildlife this past winter,” Spray said.
“Parks staff subsequently monitored the geese and determined that one had taken a more protector-type role within the group, and seemed to show aggressive behavior when approached.”
It’s unclear whether this is the same goose that was a problem last year.
“It’s believed it is likely the same goose given the aggressive behaviour displayed since returning to the pond and the description by witnesses of the incident, however staff are unable to fully confirm that it is the same goose from that incident,” Spray said.
That goose is now back in Seaforth.
“After speaking with Hope Swinimer, director of Hope for Wildlife, it was decided that it would be best to relocate this goose back to the facility, and they are reporting that the goose is doing well since its return,” Spray said.
“There is no plan to have this goose return to Sullivan’s Pond. With the safety of park users in mind, the plan is for this goose to remain at Hope for Wildlife.”
It’s been a turbulent few years for the geese, who lost two of their own when a driver ran them over in their oft-used crosswalk on Prince Albert Road in 2017.