Marlboro. It’s a name that may bring the cigarette brand to mind, but to ORU students it’s much more—it’s their salvation from the longstanding tyranny of the Canada geese.
Age 14 in dog years, Marlboro is a highly trained border collie that chases away the geese to relocate them.
Head of ORU security William Hunt described the geese as “a problem especially when they’re nesting, [as] they’ve been known to attack people who come close to their eggs.” Hunt hopes to create a better campus environment by relocating the geese because these geese are federally protected.
Two months ago, ORU called AAAC Wildlife Control to help look for a solution. AAAC Wildlife Control is a Tulsa-based company that helps eliminate wildlife animals like raccoons and foxes. Kenneth Arbuckle, the owner of AAAC Wildlife Control, stated that Marlboro underwent a very strict training program before going to work. Arbuckle is licensed and certified by the Humane Society and PETA approved.
Marlboro’s herding instincts come natural when chasing geese. His only job is to chase the geese and does not hurt them. Similar geese programs are being enacted across the country, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Marlboro has a strict schedule on campus and mainly works at random intervals two to three times a day. Despite the geese chasing, Marlboro is very well-mannered, calm and obedient.
In fact, between choosing a treat or chasing geese, Marlboro will choose geese every time.
The reaction on campus has been positive. When the news about Marlboro was announced in a chapel service, nearly all the students erupted in cheers.
“I’m excited for the future and for these incoming freshman. They won’t have to worry about getting brutally attacked by the geese,” said Sophomore Biology major Carolyn Oliver. “I would say, without the geese, people like to spend more time outside hanging out. I’ve seen a lot of people hanging out by the AC or Saga where the geese used to be.”
Campus has noticeably become a more peaceful place, all thanks to Marlboro.
Photos by Matthew Simonson