When will people ever learn?! Robert Meilhammer of Crapo, Maryland was recently knocked unconscious after he was struck in the head by a dead Canada goose that fell from the sky. Oh, and get this … the dead bird was shot by Meilhammer’s fellow hunting party. After falling about 90 feet, the bird struck Meilhammer, who was knocked out instantly and has suffered head and facial injuries. EMS responders called Meilhammer’s head injury “severe” and noted that two of his teeth had been knocked out as a result.
While we are certainly glad that it seems Meilhammer will recover, we have to ask ourselves if the “thrill of the hunt” is really worth risking your own life – while deliberately taking others. What’s even more tragic about this situation is knowing just how emotionally complex geese are. Many geese will form crèches, bird colonies where adult geese help raise the goslings. What’s more, if a goose’s life-long partner dies, a goose will go through the mourning process where they lose weight, separate from their flock, and submit to other geese. Eventually, the goose will find another mate, typically one who has also lost its partner. Geese, like all animals, want to live a life free from harm.
While many defend shooting geese as a means of controlling geese populations, there are better, more sustainable ways. The birds can, for example, be scared off by audio or visual stimuli or gadgets like “The Goosinator”, so that they decide to leave a particular area on their own accord.
Instead of going to shoot innocent animals, take a trip to appreciate the animals in their natural state. You can also support your local wildlife rehabilitation center who are working towards conservation of these amazing animals, instead of killing them.
Image Source: Didgeman/Pixabay