Dartmouth residents 'heartbroken' after beloved geese struck, killed by car
Published Thursday, August 10, 2017 8:36AM ADT
Last Updated Friday, August 11, 2017 8:00AM ADT
Two beloved geese are dead after they were struck by a vehicle near a pond in Dartmouth on Wednesday.
Halifax Regional Police say a man was driving westbound on Prince Albert Road around 5:50 p.m. when he struck three geese, who were crossing over from the Elliott Street area to Sullivan’s Pond.
One goose died at the scene while another was taken to a veterinarian and later died. The third goose swam to an island and is being monitored by volunteers.
Police say the man didn’t see the birds as they crossed the road in the crosswalk. They say he stopped momentarily before driving away from the scene.
"Responding officers spoke with witnesses, as well as the driver, and determined that no violation of the Motor Vehicle Act had occurred," said Cindy Bayers, a spokesperson for Halifax Regional Police.
Police say witnesses have confirmed that speed wasn’t a factor and no charges will be laid against the driver.
Seven geese remain at the popular pond after the incident. The geese have been a staple at the Dartmouth pond for years and local residents like Angela Jones are mourning their loss.
“I’ve lived on this street all of my life, so I feel like I have a close attachment to the geese, so I’m quite upset over what took place,” said Jones, who lives across from Sullivan’s Pond.
“I cried like a baby I was so upset because I love the geese. They’re like my little pets. I’m just heartbroken to see what happened today. It’s terrible.”
Jones didn’t witness the actual collision, but she ran outside when she heard the commotion.
“I looked over and I saw a goose dead in the middle of the road, and the other geese were wobbling away,” said Jones.
The 46-year-old woman can remember the geese living at the pond since she was five years old. She says they are known to cross the street twice a day and even use a marked crosswalk.
“In rush-hour traffic people are very careful, because that’s usually when they do cross. They cross over at lunch and at suppertime and they go and feed on the grassy area across the street,” she said.
“I think they’re the pets of everyone in Dartmouth. The people of Dartmouth are so respectful of the geese.”
That sentiment was echoed on social media, where many people turned to express their sadness over the incident.
So saddened to hear this. Sullivan's Pond and the ducks and geese there are one of the very best parts of Dartmouth. This hurts my heart.— Who? (@DartmouthDogs) August 9, 2017
I mean everyone knows of my crippling phobia of birds but even I'm upset about #dartmouthgeese fatalities. They're part of the darkside too— Ailish McNulty (@ailishmcnulty) August 10, 2017
I still feel really sad about the Dartmouth Geese. Like, maybe even more sad than I did last night— Jillian Blackman (@JillianBlackman) August 10, 2017
Drove by Sullivan's Pond on way to work this morning...geese huddled on their island. So sad from last night's news. :(— Lori Errington (@DartmouthNSDiva) August 10, 2017
Just getting caught up with the day & see the reports about the #Dartmouthgeese. Heartbroken. Truly terrible.— Carrie (@carrie_hotton) August 10, 2017
Poor geese, such a sad day for Dartmouth Please be mindful of speed and crosswalks. My own little goslings cross there too.— Claudia Chender (@ChenderMLA) August 9, 2017
So angry to hear a driver killed two geese at Sullivan's pond. I've always been proud and charmed by the care we as a community show to them— Kate Watson (@DartmouthKate) August 9, 2017
Meanwhile, residents say they hope the incident serves as a reminder for motorists to slow down and keep a close eye out for the geese when driving in the area.
Dartmouth councillor Sam Austin says he has heard from some residents who would like to see the 50 km/h speed limit lowered for that stretch of road, but that would require approval from the province.
"It's tough for me to see what more we could actually do at this place without eliminating the road entirely or fencing off the green, and I don't think either of those things are something the community would want," said Austin.
"It's a really sad day for Dartmouth to have lost two of our ambassadors of our community. The crosswalk here, the geese going across, it was on the Ellen Degeneres Show. It's one of those symbols of Dartmouth."