[Ed. Note: Apologies to Slayer for the title] Oh dear. It was one of those days you can’t even dream about let alone ever imagine happening, but yesterday, Wife, myself & Gremlin were out for a walk when Gremlin wanted to walk through the Arboretum. Being good parents we decided to let her engage herself in a communing with nature and all things botanical. Unbeknownst to us there was a horror lurking every step of the way as we entered the Arboretum. The entire San Francisco Botanical Gardens was covered in poop!
Gremlin wanted to walk across the grass which is where we discovered said poop. We aren’t talking a little pile here or there, but it literally covered the grassy area looking like someone had taken a giant lawn aerator and poked it all over the lawn leaving cylinders of dirt on top only bigger [you all know what I’m talking about right?]
One thing that I’ve learned in life is that when you study botanical sciences growing up you inevitably have to study poop for a bit. There’s a lot you can learn from it so the teachers tell you and you might even find the odd teacher that picks up and dissects a piece in his/her hand to show you what the animal ate and therefore what animal it came from.
I am not a scatologicaly aligned bio-scientist so I could merely peer at the stuff while trying to avoid stepping in it, which was difficult because it was as I said before everywhere. As Wife and Gremlin aren’t very fond of the game, guess that poop! I decided to ask on the way out to whom did said poop belong [for some reason when asking questions about poop I find it hard not to use a rather affected British accent.] I have to thank the lady working the front where we showed our ID’s to prove that we lived in San Francisco to allow us free entrance to said botanical gardens.
As it turns out all of the poop drowning the grasses of the Arboretum came from a flock of Canadian Geese which call the Arboretum home. Needless to say that it was rather surprising to discover that it was bird poop all over the gardens which left me to think that I am glad Canadian Geese aren’t low flyers when I’m driving. Although when calculating the terminal velocity of poop from a Canadian Goose unladening itself there might be problems with any cars driving in the path. The bird poop is phenomenally huge to say the least and as it turns out upon further research [from a distance of course] I discovered that there are health risks associated with, well, interaction between the geese and said poop. I found the following information:
Canada geese feces can be hazardous to people’s health, but usually only when inhaled or ingested. Walking past geese feces, or even lounging near them on the beach is likely safe for healthy people. However, the elderly, children, and pregnant or breastfeeding women are particularly susceptible to health risks posed by parasites that inhabit Canada geese feces. At even higher risk are those with weak immune systems, such as people with HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy recipients, and recent organ donors and recipients. Similarly, people with gastrointestinal (GI) problems, such as ulcers and irritable bowel disease, are also at increased risk, since they, too, cannot easily combat parasites from Canada geese feces.
Well good thing none of us thought about inhaling or ingesting bird poop seeing as it’s on none of our bucket lists, but still it does cause a few health risks and to that end I have to wonder what the staff [or staph?] of the Arboretum is going to do about it. I’ll have to contact them now and see what they say, but I just wanted you all to be aware of the problem if you were wondering what all the poop was about there.
For your utter horror and amusement I offer the following video: