SOUTH JORDAN — The Utah Highway Patrol received multiple calls reporting geese on I-15 Friday afternoon. Fortunately, the troopers and a few good Samaritans were able to save the day.
From a distance, it looked to be a typical Friday afternoon: slow going on I-15 southbound, around 11400 South. But a closer examination of the situation showed it wasn't your typical rush hour traffic.
It was a gaggle of geese.
UHP Trooper Christian Newlin said his agency began receiving 911 calls just before 5 p.m.
"Hi, I just wanted to report some animals on the freeway," one caller said.
"A family of Canada geese is trying to cross five lanes of traffic," another caller told dispatchers.
Video shot by a KSL photojournalist shows an unidentified man riding a motorcycle, keeping the youngsters of the family in line and out of the way of oncoming traffic.
(We received) upwards of 60 calls, just this week alone, on waterfowl — geese and ducks in the area — trying to cross or on the shoulders of the freeways.
–Trooper Christian Newlin, UHP
"(We received) upwards of 60 calls, just this week alone, on waterfowl — geese and ducks in the area — trying to cross or on the shoulders of the freeways," Newlin said.
Troopers weren't able to respond to the calls at 11400 South, in part because they were assisting another family of geese cross the road on I-15 near 1900 South.
With all the concrete barriers, cars speeding by, medians and general commotion, troopers are baffled how these geese even get on the interstate.
"Other than the fact that they have young with them and they can't fly, I'm not sure," Newlin said.
The most difficult part in moving the geese is actually catching them, Newlin said. Apparently the parents are pretty protective and don't like others messing with the little ones.
As for the birds at 11400 South, KSL's photojournalist continued to follow the family of geese until the good Samaritan on the motorcycle and others were able to escort the birds to the nearest exit ramp.
While this story has a good ending, troopers say it should be a warning to drivers to keep an eye out for these unlikely pedestrians.