Letter: Langley drivers urged to slow down and watch out for wildlife

Death of Canada goose on busy 208 Street was preventable, says writer Patricia Tallman

Editor: To say the following incident is upsetting is an understatement.

On Saturday, July 9, at around 8:40 a.m., I drove from Willoughby toward Walnut Grove on 208 Street.

At 84 Avenue, just before the overpass, two Canada geese and their offspring were at the edge of the sidewalk. One parent inched out onto the road, wanting to lead the pack across 208 Street.

Cars in front of me were whizzing by close to the bird. The parent stepped back and forth between the sidewalk and the road. As I approached, I slowed down and pulled over. Got out of my car to see if they wanted to cross.

But upon seeing me, the parents moved away from the road and toward the retention pond (but still on the sidewalk).

Cars behind me were speeding by, without due care and attention. I decided not to help them cross because that would pose a problem for them when they wanted to go back to the retention pond later. I crossed the overpass into Walnut Grove.

On my return trip 20 minutes later, I saw one of the parents dead, apparently hit by a vehicle.

Last summer when the weather was dry, probably the same parents and last year’s offspring were eating freshly laid grass by the new development on the west side of 208 Street at 84 Avenue.

When I encountered them last year, I stopped my car and stepped out into the middle of the road and stopped traffic in both directions, and the parents led the pack across to the pond.

Canada geese inch out into traffic, unlike deer that jump in front of a car. Most mate for life. The offspring now have lost one parent. The surviving mate is without a mate to raise the offspring.

What self-centered or distracted moron could be so reckless and indifferent to a large parent animal to hit him or her like that?

One would have to be blind or without a conscience to not see the whole pack of geese at the sidewalk wanting to cross the road — at the very least, slow down.

What can we do something to educate motorists in Willoughby, Walnut Grove and other urban areas where there is wildlife (especially near retention ponds) to be aware of potential wildlife crossings?

Patricia Tallman,

Willoughby