By Liam Reilly
When Gulick Hall residents went home for Easter weekend, their dorm had looked fine. However, when they arrived back on Sunday, April 9, the back of their dorm was covered by yellow police tape. The residents were left confused, as there seemingly was no explanation for what was going on.
As days went by, students wondered why they couldn’t access the basketball court. It turns out that the back of Gulick had been claimed by a mother goose looking for an area to nest. During mating seasons of geese, the mother goose can be protective of her eggs and territory, which leads to people who get too close getting attacked.
Chief of Public Safety Joseph Tiraboschi says it’s common behavior of mother geese to act hostile towards anyone in the area. “Geese can be very aggressive when you get near their eggs or little ones. It’s a natural reaction,” said Tiraboschi. Public Safety first got word of the goose from a Student Affairs report that students were seen mingling around the goose.
Danny Brady, a first year student at Springfield College, was one of a couple students who ran into the goose. Him and his friends were playing basketball on the Gulick court when the goose started walking over to them. “We tried to scare him away,” said Brady. “He stayed where he was.” The group went back to playing basketball until the goose charged and hissed at them. This incident is unrelated to the report by Student Affairs.
This isn’t the first time a goose has claimed territory at Springfield College. Geese have been nesting behind Abbey Appleton Hall, Gulick, and Massasoit Hall. To handle this issue, Public Safety has put up police tape surrounding Gulick so that people would know to stay away. They also reached out to the Environmental Police Department of Massachusetts for advice, who said the best thing they can do is give the goose its peace.
The goose is predicted to be in the area until graduation or after. This isn’t a big concern for Public Safety, as most of the school will have gone home in the first week of May. Tiraboschi spoke on how student safety is the most important matter. “Nice weather is coming, we all want to be outside and enjoying the sun. I love seeing our students having fun by playing catch or sunbathing, but we want them to stay clear of that area so they don’t get hurt.”
Tiraboschi also offered his advice on how to handle an encounter with the goose. “If you see it, just go in the opposite direction. It’ll try to look bigger as a way to tell you don’t get near me or this area. If it starts coming towards you or if it’s in an attacking position, try to get out of there as fast as possible.”
If you have an encounter with the goose, let Public Safety know by contacting them at 413-748-3516.
The Springfield Student reached out to the goose for a comment, but it hissed and flew away.
Photo: Nick Pantages/The Springfield Student