Village News

Pesky geese no problem for inventive Kapiti Village resident

01 June 2023

Rex Hebley and one of his hand-made wolves

David Haxton

This story was originally published by NZ Herald - Kapiti News and is republished with permission.

Written by Grace Odlum

Photograph by David Haxton

A crafty retiree has used a simple idea to stop Canada geese from plaguing Kāpiti Village grounds.

Rex Hebley, who has lived at the retirement village in Paraparaumu for about five years, noticed the geese were causing issues, including making a mess on the bowling green, pétanque piste, the croquet green and the grassy areas around the waterways.

This was causing problems for residents, who then had to clean the areas before using them.

One day a friend mentioned to him that Southward Car Museum had created cutouts of wolves around its lake, which appeared to be keeping the geese away, and Hebley wanted to try it out in the village.

He obtained a pattern from one of the engineers at the museum and got to work in the village workshop. Thus the first wolf was created, which Hebley named Wally.

He made Wally out of 12mm plywood, which he then painted black.

Wally was positioned on a small island in the river at the village, and Hebley said it worked well.

He said in the United States and Canada coyotes were the natural enemy of the geese, which was why the wolves worked so well in the village.

“I don’t know how it gets into the genes of the Canada geese here.”

Once it was clear Wally was keeping the geese away, the village’s management asked him to make more wolves, so Hebley made it into a competition.

He created four more wolves and challenged other residents to give them names.

The winning wolf was created by a 96-year-old resident who named her wolf Flow (wolf spelt backwards).

Hebley’s four new wolves were improved so they could spin in the wind, making them more lifelike.

While the wolves are popular among the village residents, Hebley said not everyone was a fan of them.

“The village dogs don’t like them.”

The wolves have been working well, and Hebley said he hadn’t seen geese in the village for at least two months, and even before that they never stayed long with the wolves on guard.

One of the wolves at Kāpiti Village

NZ Herald - Kapiti News

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