Hewlett-Packard Employees At Risk Of Geese Attacks?

portrait of a canada goose ...
portrait of a canada goose ...

Hewlett-Packard has enough problems dealing with angry shareholders without having to deal with angry geese.

A visitor to the tech giant's Boise, Idaho, office recently had an altercation with a pissed-off goose that was serious enough that officials decided to address the problem with a memo titled "Boise Site Communication: Avoiding Geese Attacks."

Hewlett-Packard spokesman Michael Thacker acknowledged the memo and told The Huffington Post it was sent out as a preventive measure after a visitor to the Boise office "had a run-in with a goose."

There has been no fowl play since then, but officials didn't want any more feathers flying, so they sent out a memo April 10 to HP's Boise employees.

Sources said those workers found it so "unintentionally hilarious" that they have been forwarding it to employees at other HP locations.

The birdbrained memo obtained by The Huffington Post starts out, in typical corporate speak, by explaining how Canada geese -- the type found near the Hewlett-Packard Boise office -- "usually start choosing mates and selecting a territory for nesting in late February to early March."

The memo also lays out how Canadian geese divide the work between genders.

The gander’s job during nesting season is to defend the female, their nesting territory, and eggs. If a person or another goose enters the territory, the gander will usually give a warning call to the intruder before chasing it away. Some geese can be very aggressive and will only stop their attack when the intruder has left or the goose’s life is threatened.

Take a gander at the tips offered on what to do if attacked by a goose.

  • Never turn your back or shoulders away from the hostile goose, and never close or squint your eyes or block your eyes with a purse or briefcase.
  • If the goose makes an aggressive move towards you while hissing or spreading out its wings, you should slowly back away while using your peripheral vision to watch for obstacles you could trip over.
  • Maintain a neutral demeanor toward the goose (i.e., do not yell, swing, kick, or act hostile). At the same time, do not cower, hide your face, turn your back, or run from the goose. Over aggression may cause the female to join the confrontation which usually causes an even more aggressive attack from the male.
  • Brad Compton, a biologist with Idaho's Fish and Game Dept., said geese attacks are actually very rare.

    "I haven't heard of one in a decade," he told The Huffington Post. "We get lots of complaints about goose poop though."

    Yes, the geese feces problem is, er, handled in the memo.

    "Goose feces is [sic] very slick so watch where you are walking and stepping to avoid slips and falls."

    "Cars seem to be a favorite spot for some of the geese to rest on. During this process they can also leave deposits on the vehicle. It is advisable to wash this off your car when you get home or on the way home at a car washing facility."

    Employees at the Boise headquarters who "observe any aggressive geese behavior in high traffic areas" are asked to report them to site security.


    CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly mentioned Michael Thacker's name as Thatcher.



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