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Snow geese could meet their match in $3,000 invention

The Goosinator is a bright orange goose-scaring machine, whose inventor says is a tool akin to a lawnmower.  -
The Goosinator is a bright orange goose-scaring machine, whose inventor says is a tool akin to a lawnmower.
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Snow geese in Richmond have clearly never met the Goosinator.

At least that’s what backers of the geese-scaring invention would say, including the owner of a golf course who enthusiastically testifies:  “Either you have geese or you have the Goosinator.”

A cross between a border collie and remote-controlled boat, the Goosinator is an orange model-airplane-like creation designed for hazing problem geese. The operator controls the one-metre-long Goosinator to chase fowl over flat terrain—from grass and sand to water and snow—at speeds up to 40 km/h.

Director of sales Dave Colton said the City of Denver already has two of the $3,000 units and eight more on order in an effort to control an invasion of Canadian geese.

“They’ve found out that the Goosinator is the only thing that works. It’s humane, it’s non-lethal, it just scares the yogurt out of these geese,” he said by telephone from Wisconsin. “The Goosinator just sends them back into the wild.”

Randy Claussen of Colorado created the Goosinator out of “space age foam” and designed it to go where dogs can’t. It’s painted orange—a colour researchers have found frightens geese the most—and comes with a fang-filled mouth and villainous eyes.

Richmond spends $20,000 per year managing urban wildlife, which includes the deployment of dogs, lasers and scare kites to chase snow geese from parks and playing fields. A further $60,000 is earmarked for snow goose management through 2015.

Colton, who plans to pitch the Goosinator to Richmond officials, said cities have thrown “bad money after good” trying to find solutions to rid their fields of fowl.

“The geese are not safe here in my area, because this thing can chase them way out into open water,” he said.

Although geese do return, Colton said they eventually grow scared at just the sight of the machine.

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