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Cold angers geese on campus

Natalie Thomas, reporter
April 1, 2012 — Canada Geese are part of the University of Waterloo's local folklore - they seem to always be around. But the mild weather this winter appears to have made these campus regulars more aggressive than usual.

Angry goose at University of Waterloo
Angry goose at University of Waterloo

After one of the mildest winters on record in southern Ontario, the number of geese on campus increased and they seemed to be more aggressive than normal.

"They give you a little look and then they charge at you," says student Michael Chung. "Their wings go so big and they fly at you and never stop honking. It's just crazy."

Temperatures began pushing 30 degrees in late March and the Canada Geese began banding together. It was if they were gaining strength from the warmth. Then it turned cold last week and that made these geese very angry.

The whole situation came to a head on Friday when these geese entered the Davis Centre.

Dan Anderson is the Director of Police Services at the University of Waterloo and he said he received a call in the afternoon that these geese had taken over the library. He was also made aware that a hostage was involved.

"We were surprised, the First Responders, when they got here, that the geese had actually set up a perimeter and were giving intelligence inside as to where we were coming from," says Anderson. "So we had to be a little more covert in the way we first attacked it."

Anderson added that once the tactical teams understood what the situation was, they were able to breach the perimeter.

"They managed to push them back, get a hold of the hostage and get her out of there."

Geese invade the library
Geese invade the library

The hostage Anderson is referring to is UW student Leslie Pucan. Pucan's friend Jacqueline Serran told media that she knew how dangerous geese can be.

"I was really, really concerned," Serran told The Weather Network. "It was crazy. I had trouble sleeping last night. It wasn't a good night."

Pucan agreed to meet with The Weather Network's Natalie Thomas to discuss her ordeal.

"It's really hard for me to be back at the library," Pucan told Thomas.

Held hostage for nearly four hours, Pucan was studying for exams in the library when the geese broke in.

"All of a sudden I heard this big honking noise and I didn't know what it was," Pucan says. "It startled me and I turned and it was the geese. I went to go and get my phone and it was gone and I just saw, it looked like the biggest goose I'd ever seen. Maybe the leader or something. He just took it and was running through the stacks."

Once the tactical teams were close to her, Pucan swears she heard one of the geese say something.

"He honked at me," Pucan recalls. "And he just said 'Happy April Fools.'"

Yes, Happy April Fools from The Weather Network.

Thanks to our friends at The University of Waterloo for playing along and for the record, no geese were harmed in the making of this story.

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