While police departments and other government agencies around the U.S. and in Europe are looking to invest in drones and robots to turbocharge their surveillance and security fleets, police in one part of China are trying out a type of security guard that’s decidedly anti-tech, running on a type of intelligence that’s far from artificial: geese.
“Among all poultry, geese [are known] for being extremely vigilant and having excellent hearing,” a police chief from Xinjiang province–an area of China marked by ethnic violence–whose force has added geese to its ranks, told a Chinese-language news site (which was translated by The Telegraph) “Geese are very brave. They spread their wings and will attack any strangers entering [someone’s] home”
They are also more resistant to being poisoned than a dog, whom savvy burglars in China dispose of with a “drugged bun to kill the dog,” the same police chief said.
According to The Telegraph:
Authorities in Shawan county say their goose-stepping recruits have at least brought a measure of security to the troubled region.
In June, one gaggle of police geese reportedly managed to snare a man who had broken into the local police headquarters to take a motorbike, the People’s Daily reported.
After drugging two police dogs and climbing over the wall, the man was about to make his getaway when he came face-to-face with some 20 feathered “gatekeepers.”
“The geese fanned their wings and began shrieking when they saw the stranger. The duty officer woke up and the thief was caught red handed.”
There’s a long history of using geese for security. In Scotland, makers of Ballantine’s whiskey used geese to protect their warehouses until last year, according to Smartplanet, and were even used as guards by ancient Romans.