University in Shanghai gives goose a place at university to save it from cooking pot

Gander’s owner was leaving the area and feared the only way out for her pet was to eat him, until a local college offered to help

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 3:50pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 6:11pm

A university in east China agreed to “admit” a goose after its owner, who was leaving the area, appealed for someone to save the bird from the cooking pot, local media reported.

Gugu the gander took his place at Shanghai Maritime University last week, Thepaper.cn reported.

His owner, Wu, contacted the college on Weibo – China’s Twitter-like service – after hearing that it kept and reared geese.

“I am the owner of a pet goose,” she wrote. “He is very handsome and has been with me for a year and a half, but I am moving to a new place. Can you take my goose? I am reluctant to cook it.”

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The university was quick to respond, saying on social media later the same day that it would be happy to give Gugu a home.

“We have decided to welcome Gugu to our big goose family,” it said. “We hope Gugu will grow healthy and strong.”

The gander’s new home is close to Dishui Lake, which is a local protection area that provides a natural habitat for hosts of bird species and other wildlife.

Wu expressed her gratitude via WeChat, China’s most popular messaging platform.

“I express my thanks on behalf of Gugu,” she said. “You guys are students with kind hearts. Who knows, maybe Gugu will be able to find a wife.”

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Wu went on to say that she hoped her old friend would be happy in his new environment.

“I found Gugu when I was fishing. He was all yellow when I first got him, but now he is handsome.”

A former student from the university even penned a mock welcome letter to the goose.

“Student Gugu, congratulations on being accepted to the programme of poultry farming studies at the Intelligent Lake Ecology Department,” it said.

“Please bring this letter with you to claim your place. For times and venue, please read the admission guide for newcomers.”

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Another wit suggested the goose be posed exam questions, such as calculating the radius of Dishui Lake and coming up with words that rhyme with “goose”.

Shanghai Maritime University has had a Weibo account dedicated to its goose community since 2011, the report said.

It describes the birds as the school’s special trademark.