This article is more than 5 years old

A goose on the loose: more animal action on campus

Paul Greatrix takes a sideways look at animals on campus
This article is more than 5 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

We are all aware of the important role played by various creatures on our university campuses. From animals in halls to prominent pets and from birds behaving badly to the Beasts of UoN, many animals have had prominent roles in university life.

There have also been some strange goings on with goats charged with campus weed maintenance projects and who can forget the achievements of Furry Boi, the squirrel who won a student election. Beyond squirrels and goats, there have been more challenging campus critters to deal with including a range of raptors at a couple of universities

And then there was the recent news of the surprising number of cats inhabiting university libraries.

News has recently emerged though of a rather remarkable development in China where a goose named Gugu has been awarded a place at Shanghai Maritime University. According to the BBC, the goose won its place after its owner joked she was “reluctant to cook it”.

In a public post on Weibo, a woman named Ms Wu said she was worried she would not be able to care for Gugu when she moved house. She appealed to Shanghai Maritime University to help. The university was quick to respond, announcing Gugu’s admission in a post on its official Weibo page.
Ms Wu said in her post that she found the goose while fishing.
“He was all yellow when I first got him but now he is handsome,” she said. “He was with me for a year and a half but I am moving to a new place.”
She asked the university – which already keeps a flock of geese – to take on the bird, saying she was “reluctant to cook it”.
The university said it would gladly invite him to join their “big goose family”.

Apparently Gugu’s new home will be on campus, close to a local lake in a protected wildlife area. And the university has said it hopes “Gugu will grow healthy and strong”.

Heartwarming stuff.

More conventionally, and rather belatedly, I’ve just noticed this key appointment of a full-time faculty member in the US.

The outstandingly named Professor Beauregard Tirebiter is a two-year-old black goldendoodle and this fluffy member of faculty is one of a handful of full-time university wellness dogs in the US appointed to provide affection and comfort to stressed-out students. According to Inside HigherEd:

Getting a job in academe can be dog-eat-dog. But for Professor Beauregard Tirebiter, it was just dog-be-dog. The black goldendoodle has been hired by the University of Southern California as the institution’s first-ever full-time facility dog, according to USC News. Facility dogs are similar to therapy dogs, but they work with changing groups of people rather than one person who needs assistance. Beau, as he’s nicknamed, works out of USC’s Engemann Student Health Centre. His official title is wellness dog, and he has office hours, business cards and a Twitter account.

His Twitter feed has been quiet for a while though – suspect the prof is just a bit busy.

Other campus animal action news gratefully accepted.

4 responses to “A goose on the loose: more animal action on campus

  1. Jimmy Chipolata is a regular visitor to Nottingham Trent University. The students love having him around and he has a very positive impact on student and staff wellbeing @jimmychipolata #NTUJobDog #NTUTherapydog

    1. I was delighted to learn about Jimmy. I wish I’d known before I wrote the piece as would have certainly featured him. Thank you!

  2. …..the Aussies will say this is more limp-wristed stuff from the Poms – possums, brown snakes and Grey Kangaroos were the visitors on campus in Canberra and none would have gained admission to anything except perhaps the chiller plant. What next in the UK – access scholarships for rabbits on the Sussex Downs…….? Or maybe Brexit has finally got to me….?

Leave a Reply