Anyone who’s had the misfortune of meeting a gaggle of geese probably figured out they’re fiercely territorial and just generally aggressive. For a perfect example, see the Canadian goose (aka cobra chicken) facing off against a gang of cows.
Starting this month, a prison in Brazil has swapped out their traditional guard dogs for the far more terrifying GUARD GEESE. In a Global News segment, a human prison guard refers to his new feathered staff as “geese agents.” He goes on to explain that guard geese offer several advantages. The geese are cheaper to keep than guard dogs, plus they’re born jerks, so they don’t need any training. They also are very alert, have strong vision, and come equipped with a natural alarm system. They also aren’t easily bribed or distracted by food (unlike the canine alternatives).
This prison, in particular, is relatively calm and quiet. It makes it well-suited for the human guards to hear any honks they might need to investigate. The guard gaggle is led by a goose named Piu-Piu, who has a distinct honk that his human coworkers recognize. The geese patrol an area between the prison yard fence and the outer wall. And when they’re on break, they have a little pool to kick back and relax in.
While this may seem like a new idea, geese have actually been used as guard animals since Roman times, both to alert their owners to trespassers, but also to protect less-agressive fowl and farm animals they live with from predators. (Editor’s note: So if calling someone a “chicken” means they’re scared. Why don’t we call someone who’s brave a “goose”?)
For a friendly goose living a peaceful life in the south of France, check out BFFs Nino the Bull Terrier and Rillette the Goose.