Geese, eats around campus
Madeline S. Scharf – Reporter
As spring arrived on campus, so did the geese. The Canadian goose, though in Connecticut year-round, was especially popular this year as they flew back to Canada for the summer.
Canadian geese are migratory birds, flying south during the winter and north in the summer. They are also quite inconvenient. According to National Geographic, the Canadian goose is “often aggressive,” and “they litter their waste in human-made environments.”
Many students have seen the effects of these geese, with the sidewalks being littered with excrement. “A 50-goose flock can produce a staggering two-and-a-half tons of poop per year,” claims National Geographic. Such effects can still be found, even now that the Canadian geese no longer roam the grounds.
“I personally like them,” said Perez. “They remind me of being home in Massachusetts, and I like birds. Obviously, they leave a mess behind, but I don’t mind them as long as I wear good boots.”
The birds are fun novelty for others. Art education major Sara Lareau, a freshman, said, “I really like looking at them.” Their seasonality may make them a fun staple on campus not normally seen in large cities such as New Haven.
The groundskeepers at the university work hard to ensure students will not track the geese’s remanence throughout campus. “I think, on the walking paths, the school keeps the mess handled,” said Perez. “But there really was an indescribable number of geese some days.”
Geese are not the only critters to be spotted on campus. Stray cats have also been noticed this semester. “I have seen 2 or 3,” said Perez. “During the winter semester, I actually saw little pawprints in the snow on campus.”
Students who have spotted the cats so far have had no complaints about the critters. “I don’t mind them on campus as long as they aren’t being hurt,” said Perez. “I love cats, but I worry about them when the weather gets bad.”
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) documents what life may be like for these “community cats,” cats with no set home. An article stated “They must endure weather extremes such as cold and snow, heat and rain.” They also “face starvation, infection and attacks by other animals.”
Large cities like New Haven are known for having a large stray animal population. Many enjoy seeing the cats, but do not know how to help the homeless critters. According to the ASPCA, the best thing people can do for these homeless cats is to “contact local shelters or welfare groups,” to find out more information on feeding, housing, and spaying/neutering community cats in a local area.
Students feel conflicted on if the school should do anything about these wild cats around campus. “I honestly don’t know,” said Lareau. Seeing the cats in the wild can be distressing, but to Lareau it is not necessarily the school’s responsibility to ensure their safety.
Other students would be interested in a small initiative to ensure the safety of these local cats. “I’d really like if some water or food was put out for them,” said Perez. “Maybe even little shelters for bad weather.”
Whatever the position, the animals on campus are likely to continue to be a recurring feature. From Canadian Geese to wild cats, this campus is host to many different critters. “I just ask that people be nice to the general life that share campus with us,” said Perez.