The temperament of the Canada Goose is almost as famous as the bird itself and a historic Vancouver photo dating back to the mid-1950s proves it has been that way for a while.
Found in the City of Vancouver Archives, the photo depicts a rightfully terrified horse named Trooper turning its tail to a ferocious looking Canada Goose in mid-attack. Riding Trooper is Vancouver Police Constable Cliff Cooper according to the photo's description. The photo was taken in Stanley Park in 1954.
Figuring out the famous fury
When you type into Google, “why are Canada Geese…” the third autocomplete suggestion is “so mean?” Obviously, this question has been pondered many times by Canadians and the world at large, and for good reason.
While most goose attacks on humans result in minor or no injuries, severe injuries can happen. Goose attacks have resulted in broken bones, head trauma, and emotional distress. Although, many of these injuries occur when the person tries to avoid an attacking goose and trips and falls.
The reason for their aggression may be a bit relatable though as the birds often become aggressive if they believe that their eggs or goslings are threatened. Even if you don’t see a nest, one may be nearby and if you get too close, a goose may attack to defend it.
It just seems Constable Cliff Cooper and Trooper learned that lesson the hard way 68 years ago.