How do you get six baby Canada geese off a roof when they can't yet fly? You set up crash pads to give them a soft landing, of course.
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Staff from the Outdoor Centre learned the technique Monday after quickly lining the perimeter of a building on the University of Calgary campus with cushy mats to ensure the goslings survived the almost five-metre drop.
"[The distance was] not huge, but pretty big for a tiny gosling without any feathers," said Finlay MacNeill, who is the cross-country ski and paddle programs co-ordinator with the Outdoor Center.
MacNeill says the parents nested on the roof above his office in the spring, but when the babies hatched they couldn't get down. He was the one who discovered the goslings were in trouble.
"[She] was honking and actually tapping on my window, it was unusual to say the least, and then I understood why."
MacNeil says there were plenty of mats available, thanks to the Outdoor Centre's rock climbing program and the U of C's kinesiology department.
He says it did take the goslings a while to muster up the courage to leap from the roof to the crash pads, but they all descended safely in the end.
After bouncing a couple times on the mats, the babies got up and ran to their parents' side. MacNeill thinks the family of Canada geese won't be returning to the university's campus.
"I think it was time for them to leave the nest and start heading to water, they need a food source."