Why Did the Geese Cross the Road?

by
posted on May 14, 2014
wilder_ah2015_fs.jpg (14)

undefinedNo one likes being stuck in traffic. This, I know all too well—the NRA HQ offices are located in the heart of Fairfax, Va., so my co-workers and I deal with our fair share of travel issues. Anyone who's ever driven a car has experienced such frustrations, be it due to volume, highway construction or a fender bender.

But because of geese? That might be a new one. Though I was once confounded by the presence of a wild turkey in the middle of a rather long bridge.

Anyway, reports out of Chicago and Long Island in the last week or so have found Canada geese (and, notably, their goslings) backing up traffic for miles. Admittedly, it's "that time of year"—most folks will have seen families of geese waddling through the park or into the neighbor's backyard. There are always a few rogues in the group, however, and in Chicago and New York, at least, a few troublemakers have tried to cross the road. Maybe they're just particularly ironic in nature.

In Chicago, a group of geese wound up being shepherded to safety after finding their way onto a nearby interstate. Seven geese—five of which were goslings—determinedly hung around the edge of the road as traffic breezed by, and allegedly created a number of close calls. A couple of drivers did their best to corral the birds and get them off the road, but eventually the police had to get involved. The geese were given a police "escort" to the right side of the interstate, and ultimately nudged into the safety of a nearby neighborhood. The incident ultimately backed up traffic for over an hour. Talk about good fortune—I'm pretty sure I'd get a different kind of escort if I stood in traffic and refused to move...

Drivers on the Long Island Expressway found themselves in a very similar situation, according to Newsday. In this case, a mother goose and her four goslings were making a concentrated effort to cross the highway when they were thwarted by the barrier. A pair of off-duty city officers passing by noticed the geese, which had made it to the HOV lane, and stopped to assist. The HOV lane wound up being shutdown for over 15 minutes, severely snarling traffic. Presented with few other options, city officials eventually managed to herd the goslings into a cardboard box—much to the displeasure of their mother—and carried them to safety, off the highway. The adult goose later joined the goslings, after much consternation.

It's easy to see why so many city folk aren't fond of geese, I suppose. Sure, deer remain the most immediate animal threat to your vehicle, but it'd apparently be a good idea to keep an eye out for geese, too. Drive safe, all.

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