Annual goose rodeo at Dartmouth's Sullivan's Pond provides amusement for onlookers
You know winter is on its way when it's time to round up the geese at Sullivan’s Pond in Dartmouth
The annual event took place Tuesday morning. Volunteers with Hope For Wildlife gathered up the geese in what is usually a comedic event.
“There was a moment there I didn't think we were going to be successful, because they sort of all splintered, and went in different directions,” Swinimer said. “But because we had enough volunteers we were able to contain them.”
All six were rounded up and taken to Hope For Wildlife where they spend the winter.
Swinimer says the city asks for help every year.
“This pond tends to freeze up a lot and sometimes the geese get into trouble on the ice,” she said.
Swinimer says the geese are pretty hardy and can handle the cold no problem.
“A lot of people worry about them because they think it’s too cold for them. That’s not a problem for them at all,” she said. “I think it’s more a concern of them slipping and falling on the ice and the ice is so thin sometimes you can’t get out on the ice to rescue them.”
Swinimer said Tuesday’s goose rodeo went well thanks to the volunteers, many of whom are experienced at wrangling the waterfowl.
“Without the volunteers at Hope for Wildlife I don’t know where we’d be and we do get a good response,” she said. “Every year we post it up and we have a lot of people that come running to help us with this project.”
Swinimer says Hope For Wildlife will serve an expanded role this winter.
“Not only are we the caregivers for the winter, we're also sort of the matchmakers,” Swinimer said. “The city delivered four geese to our property about a month ago and they're waiting to be introduced to these six. So, come spring, when we return the geese to Sullivan’s Pond, there will be 10 geese instead of six. So we're pretty excited about that.”
Swinimer is not sure how that will work out, but she’s hopeful it will go well.
“There definitely is a pecking order with the geese and we need to respect that,” she said. “The city thought it would be a really good idea, and I totally agree with them, to introduce them in a more neutral territory, so the four geese are already out at the farm waiting to be introduced to these six.”
Swinimer says the habitat she’s prepared for them has lots of room, so even if they break into groups, they might still assimilate over time.
“They have all winter to figure it out,” she said. “I bet you by spring they’ll be getting along and you won’t even know who is who.”