ULSAN, April 10 (Korea Bizwire) — Removed from their home of seven years after the appearance of an unexpected predator, a family of geese are back where they belong on the campus grounds of UNIST, a science and technology research university located in the southeastern city of Ulsan.
Originally a family of seven, only four geese could be seen waddling along the shores of the lake on the UNIST campus where they have readjusted to their old life.
The geese were first presented to UNIST as a welcoming gift by a local resident in 2011. The birds lived out a peaceful existence until last January, when an otter emerged out of the blue to make the lake his new home.
Though the otter soon became something of a star, with UNIST students and faculty taking a keen interest in the furry animal, the geese would soon learn to fear their new neighbor.
One by one, the otter began to hunt down and slaughter the geese, ultimately killing three. Fascination quickly turned to horror as passersby came across the remains of the killed geese on the grounds.
With their geese population nearly halved, the decision was made to move the birds to a new home, far out of reach of the otter.
At the time, a member of the Association of Korean Otter Conservation said, “The otter is the apex predator in rivers and lakes, and it can move faster than a human on land, so hunting geese is very possible. The only viable solution is to separate the geese and the otter.”
The decision to move the geese was made as the otter’s status as both an endangered animal and a Cultural Heritage Administration-designated “Natural Monument of South Korea” meant the process of gaining official approval and catching the predator would be far too complicated.
The geese’s exile proved not to be final, however, as the otter eventually left the lake and has not returned since.
A spokesperson for UNIST said the institution was disappointed that the otter was no longer part of the school’s ecosystem, but that peace had returned to the lake along with the geese.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)