FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Two people were attacked by a goose Tuesday morning in the parking lot of Walmart on East 96th Street, police said.
The unidentified Canadian suspect fled before News 8 crews arrived.
The Fishers Police Department posted a photo of the feathered assailant on their Facebook page, alongside a warning about #gooserage and the birds’ “territorial” tendencies.
The two adult victims sustained minor injuries, including arm bites. Neither antagonized or harassed the Canada goose before the attack, according to Fishers authorities.
“In this particular incident, these people did nothing wrong,” Sgt. Tom Weger told News 8. “For some reason, the animal felt threatened and decided to attack these people.”
Protective instincts in Canada geese can trigger vicious attacks during nesting season from March to June, experts said, urging people to avoid feeding or approaching the birds.
Jason Apple, the manager of a restaurant next to Walmart, told News 8 he rarely saw geese in the parking lot but would “definitely” warn staff and customers to “be careful walking to their cars.”
“It’s wild,” he said. “Very wild. Something you wouldn’t expect walking out of Walmart.”
Shopper Michael Duerden was also surprised when he learned wildlife had gone wild in the busy shopping center.
“Kick them,” he advised people facing similarly aggressive geese. “If you’ve ever been bitten by a goose, you won’t want it happening again.”
Duerden was attacked by a mother goose as a teenager after pushing a lawn mower too close to her nest, he told News 8.
Fishers officials urged residents not to follow Duerden’s advice. Behaving aggressively toward a Canada goose — even if it does so first — could result in hefty fines.
“They are highly protected,” explained Weger. “You cannot harass them, engage them or assault them in any way, shape or form. If you’re involved in an incident with one of these animals and they are injured, you’re going to have to be able to explain exactly what happened.”
Canada geese are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.