By Maria Medina

TURLOCK (CBS13) — They’re angry, they’re aggressive and they leave behind land mines everywhere they go.

The geese — and their poop — have become a messy situation on the campus of California State University, Stanislaus. Walking around campus is almost like a game of hop scotch to avoid the droppings.

“They’re not always easy to spot because they’re the same color as the grass,” said Cal State Stanislaus spokesman Dave Tonelli of the poop.

But not only do you have to watch your stop, you also have to watch your back.

“They do tend to charge at you,” Tonelli said.

Lurking in the shadows in the day, coming out full force in the mornings and evenings, the growing flock of Canada geese, about 500 of them, have made the campus their permanent home.

“The numbers are just growing and growing and growing,” Tonelli said.

And apparently, they’re territorial.

“You’ll kind of like look at them and they’ll just be like ‘reeh!'” student Dayna Azebedo said, making her best goose growl impersonation.

The geese look for large bodies of water to land in during migration, and they found about a half dozen of them on the Turlock campus.

“They’re supposed to come here for the winter and then leave, and they’ve liked it so much that they’ve stayed,” Tonelli said.

Next month, the university plans to bring in dogs to chase off the birds and use boats to scare them.

“Even if we don’t thin out the population, if we can help from it getting bigger,” Tonelli said.

Not only are the geese confrontational, their piles of poop pose a health risk to people, and there’s a lot of it, Tonelli said.

“They let out probably 1 to 3 pounds of droppings every day per goose,” Tonelli said.

That’s as much as 1,500 pounds of geese feces dropped on the campus a day.

So, yes, geese going No. 2 is Becoming a No. 1 priority on campus.

Comments (10)
  1. Goose the geese says:

    Why don’t we allow homeless people to capture and eat the geese. If any bird needs to be removed from protective status, it is permanent flocks of these super duper poopers. They make pigeons look like flies compared to elephants. We really need to eliminate the populations of these birds. They are a real health hazard and they are vicious and unpredictable as pit bulls.

    1. David R, Newsome says:

      Geese are quite tasty. Eat them!!!!! End of problem. Always remember…NEVER stand behind a goose! “Loose as a goose” has real meaning.

    2. OnyxE says:

      They are not a health hazard. Unless you want to eat goose poop but eating any kind of poop isn’t advisable.

      According to state and university public health experts including the New Jersey Department of Health, goose feces are fairly innocuous, posing little or no health risks to humans.

      Dr. Timothy Ford, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and author of “Microbiological Safety of Drinking Water: United States and Global Perspective 1999,” states: “Numbers of Cryptosporidium oocysts associated with Canada geese and waterfowl in general are likely to be minimal, unimportant relative to the potential for oocysts shed from other forms of wildlife and humans. IN MY MIND THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY THAT THE CANADA GOOSE WILL EVER BE A MAJOR ROUTE OF INFECTION. TO SUGGEST OTHERWISE IS UTTERLY LUDICROUS AND YOU CAN QUOTE ME.”

  2. Deb Castaneda says:

    Big change from the old days of Turkey Tech.

  3. PattyA says:

    The reporter who did this “story” needs to pull her head away from “Angry Birds” video games and actually 1– research the facts of what she is supposedly “reporting” on and 2– Actually LOOK at the scene she is reporting.

    It is definately werid for a reporter to talk about too many geese in the water while standing in front of a bird-empty lake. Is she delusional or had too many shots of tequilia? (“Pink geese?”)

    “Angry, aggressive and leaving behind land mines?”

    Did this gal just get back from Afganistan or Syria? Is she a victim of some kind of domestic abuse?

    Surely, she cannot be talking about GEESE! These are among the most peaceful, gentle creatures on the planet. They have no teeth, claws or fangs to threaten anything.

    As for pooping “1 to 3 lbs per goose per day.”

    Come on, folks. The geese poop about 1/2 lb a day and that is mostly recycled grass. That is why it is “GREEN.”

    Leave it alone and it acts as free fertilizer for grass.

    Then again, this entire piece was “poop” and I don’t mean the fertilizer kind.

  4. Lucas says:

    i will agree with you, this has been blown out of proportions, but when a group of seven start to charge you on your way back from main dinning, you see them as aggressive and evil. and one thing you missed is that the geese poop on more than just grass. they poop on EVERYTHING. all you have to do is walk onto our campus to see that we clearly have a problem. news-worthy? no. but still a problem.

  5. JCP says:

    Up here in Canada we know they are territorial, they are aggressive, they do bite and they can even deliver a nasty cut while beating you with their wings when they attack. We have pest control vans that drive through areas where they feed and play the sound of a wounded or distressed goose, they leave almost immediately. As for the empty lake, they’re usually on the grass eating it down to the root level – the water is primarily for landing & bathing.

    Canada geese are not peaceful gentle creatures, and should be approached with caution, especially the large males that watch over the rest of the flock.

    1. OnyxE says:

      What part of Canada do you live in? Our permanent resident Canada geese are quite beloved in Vancouver, BC and they don’t get harassed anywhere except maybe of golf courses. Last summer there were about 100 including about 30 goslings in a very small area at Granville Island and they did fine even during a five day children’s festival and the kids loved them. Canada geese are expert at reading body language…and if you approach their babies or nest arrogantly and without any concern for their comfort zone they will warn you with hissing and wing flapping. They don’t just attack and any half sensitive person should know enough to just back off. The are only this protective when molting and can’t fly and when they have goslings. Any other time they will fly or run to escape if they can.

  6. PattyA says:

    With all due respect, Lucas and JCP, I have spent several years closely observing and interacting with many geese and mallards in NYC’s Central Park. I have dozens of photos of small CHILDREN hand- feeding and enjoying geese. I have NEVER seen a goose “attack” a human!

    True, ganders particularly are very protective of their mates and goslings in the summer. But the rest of the time, geese pretty much mind their own business. One has to seriously wonder about these claims of geese being “aggressive.” What exactly is going on?

    Since these birds are highly protective and safety conscious, then there must be some perceived threat to themeselves and their young. Even dogs will “attack” if their home or beloved owners are being threatened.

    As for the “poop,” as said, it is recycled grass. What is the big deal? I must walk in goose poop all the time. But, by the time I walk home, the bottoms of my shoes are completely clean.

    Some people apparently have nothing better to whime about.

    If you hate geese and ducks that much, then stay away from the lakes and ponds.