As Egyptian geese and other wild birds make their way into urban areas, numerous locals have kindly stepped in – and, in the case of one Johannesburg police offer, even stopped traffic – to help the families and young goslings to reach safety.
In Johannesburg earlier this week, it was reported that the police aided an Egyptian goose crossing a busy road in Randburg.
A local resident told a newspaper that on Republic Road the goose was crossing the road with about 12 of her goslings as traffic zoomed by. A police officer stopped the traffic and guided the goose along with her goslings across the road.
“I thought it was fantastic.”
In Cape Town, meanwhile, resident Allison Foat was in Gardens near the foot of Table Mountain when she saw two geese and several goslings making a racket near a drain. Turns out one of the goslings had fallen through the storm water grating.
In the U.S. a police car helps a family of ducks cross the road:
Foat told a newspaper that a resident in a local building came to help and then a Blue Ribbon bakery truck driver stopped, and together the two men prised the grating loose and got the gosling out.
The building resident and his girlfriend apparently herded the group up to the Leeuwenvoet Estate. Foat, who thanked the SPCA and the city’s emergency services, said she forgot to get the Blue Ribbon driver’s name but was trying to get hold of it to thank him too.
The owner of a local bird sanctuary said more and more birds are being brought to sanctuaries as urban areas encroach on wetlands and parks in the cities. While some conservationists say Egyptian geese are an invasive species and need to be eradicated, many others disagree and take them in.
A week earlier Cape Town resident Edward Robbins found an Egyptian goose and a single gosling on the side of a busy interchange on De Waal Drive. He stopped and tried to herd them to the side of the grass verge on the Table Mountain side. Another gosling had already been killed by a car.
“I got the gosling across but then the mother got agitated, walked into the traffic and I thought she would get killed,” he said. “But she flew away.”
He took the surviving gosling home and – on the advice of SANCCOB – made sure it had water and maybe some Pronutro, although he said it liked to peck at ants. The following day, after the SPCA offered to pick up the bird, he instead drove it to a woman in Pinelands running a small sanctuary. She said that, once grown, it would be released into the Breede River area.
Numerous videos have been posted around the world of police and firemen saving birds, such as this recent one of firemen saving a duck’s chicks in Slovakia: