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They might honk back: Saskatoon drivers are dodging gaggles of geese and goslings

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Some drivers had to deal with a wildlife hazard in downtown Saskatoon when a gaggle of geese decided to take a stroll near the bandshell on Spadina Crescent.

Why the group of eight geese wanted to cross the road isn’t entirely clear, although one wildlife expert has a theory.

“Animals are much like us, they don’t want to stay in one place. Just like we want to travel and go different places and walk around,” said Jan Shadick, the executive director at Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

The traffic on that leg of Spadina Crescent isn’t going too fast, so it’s possible to be patient, but that’s not the case on other roadways.

“It’s tricky. So, I’m not going to tell you to stop on the highway because it could be a fatal situation for you instead of the birds,” she says.

According to Shadick, it’s not uncommon to see more pedestrian geese at this time of year, with mama geese and their goslings often seen in the city looking for water.

It doesn’t always end well for young bird families.

“Unfortunately, it’s really far away and she ends up losing some or all of her babies along the way,” she said.

Living Sky currently has a pen full of ducklings that were rescued in the city.

SGI receives thousands of reports of wildlife encounters on Saskatchewan roads each year, many involving, deer.

In any such encounter, SGI spokesperson Tyler McMurchy says driver safety is paramount.

“If you can keep the goose or deer or moose safe, that’s great, but keeping yourself safe and other drivers safe as well,” McMurchy told CTV News.

If you hit wildlife on the road and damage your vehicle, the cost of the deductible is on you, he says.

“Bambi doesn’t have insurance so the collision would be covered under your own insurance subject to your deductible,” said McMurchy.

If it’s safe to do so, Shadick says drivers can get out and direct the birds across the road, where possible.

You could also try honking your horn to prod the birds to move — and there’s always a chance the geese could honk back. 

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