Family of geese stops traffic on Edmonton bridge

Family of geese on the road

A traffic jam is rarely cause for celebration, but a delay on an Edmonton bridge last week was so cute, we envy the cars that got stuck in the gridlock. The cause of the holdup? A family of geese was taking a stroll down the 780-metre bridge.

Two adult geese and six goslings somehow found themselves in one of the bridge’s lanes and couldn’t get back up to the sidewalk, meaning they were forced to continue walking down the road in full traffic. Thankfully, some pedestrians noticed the birds’ plight and decided to help out.

Angel Sundresh joined the birds out on the road and attempted to help them get back to the sidewalk, and she was soon spotted by Lynette Stanley-Maddocks and Jen Russill, two friends who were out for a walk on the bridge and decided to lend a hand. Explaining her decision, Stanley-Maddocks told the CBC, “Well, we can either walk on and forget about the goslings and one of them will get squished or we can do something now.”

Three women walking geese across the bridge
Photo courtesy of John Robertson/CBC
The family of geese crossed the entire bridge on foot, with an entourage of human helpers.

The three women attempted to create a ramp to get the geese onto the sidewalk, but the geese refused to use it, so they ended up simply having to herd the birds across the bridge. “A lot of people drove by and said this was the best reason ever to be stuck in traffic, or it was rare that a traffic jam could make them smile,” Russill told the CBC, “so it all turned out for the best.”

Walking the geese to the end of the bridge ended up taking an hour and a half, but Sundresh said it felt like her responsibility to get the geese back to surroundings they understood. “They are pushed out to live on our streets and because of all the development here, sometimes they get stuck [in the] human world,” she said.

The geese were happy to get off the bridge, though they didn’t thank their human helpers, who got hissed at when they got too close. Still, for Sundresh, it was worth it. “It feels nice to get them back into their world where they are safe.”