SASKATOON -- Geese and their goslings can often been seen in large groups out by the Saskatoon riverbank at this time of year, and while they might make for a good photo, wildlife experts are urging caution.

A few people in Saskatoon are already doing just that.

“That’s why I’m taking the long way around whenever I’m around them because I know the geese are very territorial,” said Adam Pottle, who was riding his bike near the Vimy Memorial in Saskatoon.

Tanner Cantin, having a picnic in the same area, said, “we were kind of swarmed by them. I was actually hissed at by one so I was kind of scared.”


Ray Alisauskas, a research scientist with Environment Canada’s Wildlife Research Division, said some Canada Geese can push up to 20 pounds in weight and hurt people if they’re provoked.

“They’ll use their elbows and smash other dogs or other geese. That’s how they fight one another establishing territory. They can fly up and kind of hit people in the face too. So, the point is to avoid that. Just give them room and there shouldn’t be any problems,” he said.


Jamie Harder, an interpreter with the Meewasin Valley Authority, said now that the geese are with their young, they tend to be more protective, but that once the goslings begin flying in about two to three months, that behaviour should calm down.

In the meantime, she noted warning signs people can look out for.

“You’ve probably seen geese hissing or honking, sometimes they do a head bobbing and those are their warning signs that they are uncomfortable and they don’t like having you that close,” Harder told CTV News.


She said in those situations, you should calmly back away.

“The best way to do that is to stay facing the goose, keep your eyes on them and back away calmly. If you start to run or scream or anything like that, then the goose might interpret that as an aggressive behaviour.”

Harder reminds people not to touch or feed geese or any other wildlife.