'Goose Whisperer' Saves the Day

Dutchman helps improve human-poultry relations
'Goose Whisperer' Saves the Day
Geese specialist Martin Hof observes geese in a park in Delft, west central Netherlands, Wednesday July 11, 2007. A gaggle of geese runs riot in the Hof van Delft Park. They honk, they hiss, they harass, and they scatter droppings everywhere. Hof has become a minor celebrity here, in part for his ability...   (Associated Press)

The "goose whisperer" is helping humans and geese to coexist peacefully in the Netherlands. Martin Hof has a gift for gabbing with ganders, the AP reports, and he's working with officials to develop gentler approaches to controlling the messy birds in public places, taking into account family groups and moving geese around rather than making them into pate.

Hof can calm geese by communicating in clucks and whistles, using his arm to mimic the motions of a goose's neck. He also promotes public education, encouraging park visitors not to feed the birds, and works with government officials to keep the fertile fowl from overbreeding. "It's all about respect for the geese," he says. (More Martin Hof stories.)

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