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DARTMOUTH -- There have been geese at Sullivan's Pond in Dartmouth for as long as almost anyone can remember.

For many, they add a picturesque and peaceful setting in the middle of a busy urban neighborhood.

But it seems the geese are getting a tad too aggressive; a Dartmouth senior was sent to hospital with some scary injuries after being attacked by the birds.

The 87-year-old Dartmouth woman remains in hospital after being attacked by geese last Friday.

A family member of the woman says she suffered broken bones and other injuries, but she's feeling better with each passing day.

How and why this happened baffles veterinarian Dr. Jeff Goodall.

"Typically in the spring geese are much more aggressive because they're laying eggs and they are protecting their goslings," Goodall said.

But he's at a loss to explain what triggered this behaviour in October.

HRM staff are devising a plan on what should be done next.

Hope Swinimer from Hope For Wildlife says four new geese were added to Sullivan's Pond in the spring, bringing the total to 10.

The geese are usually sheltered for the winter beginning in December, but Swinimer says she'll likely round them all up next week to assess their behaviour and aggression.

Goodall says the surprising strength of geese catches people off guard.

"They'll knock people down with their elbows primarily," Goodall says.

Once an animal or person has been knocked down, that's when the geese start to bite, Goodall says.

His advice is to keep a safe distance, exercise caution, watch their behaviour, and walk away.

"Keep eye contact but back away cautiously," Goodall said.

The injured woman is expected to remain in hospital for a few more days.