SINGAPORE - Two geese that a man is rearing outside his Serangoon North Avenue 1 flat have gotten some neighbours crying fowl.
The 52-year-old deliveryman, who is known only as Mr Yan, is not raising them for food.
Instead, the geese keep his disabled elderly mother company, and help relieve her of boredom, Chinese evening daily Shin Min Daily News reported on Friday (Jan 8).
"Since my mother suffered a stroke 10 years ago, she has had trouble moving around, so she is very happy to have the geese as company and she talks to them often," he told Shin Min.
The birds are kept in an area of the corridor cordoned off by some cardboard and two baskets.
Some in his block, however, are not as enamoured by the birds as he is. One woman, a Mrs Luo, told Shin Min that the geese are noisy and affect her everyday life.
"Every time I open my door to allow some fresh air into my house, I hear the geese squawking, and they do that the whole day," she said. "I'm very worried that the geese will bring contagious diseases like bird flu."
Mrs Luo said that she has not told Mr Yan of her concerns directly as she did not want the issue to affect relations between neighbours.
When asked, Mr Yan denied that the geese are excessively noisy. He said the birds were given to him by a friend over two months ago, and he has since been cleaning their living area and bathing them every day. He even sprays the area with insecticide, he said.
"I have not had any thoughts of killing them for food," he added.
Shin Min reported that other residents have however said that they don't hear noises from the birds often.
Geese are not allowed to be kept in HDB flats, according to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). Shin Min said that the AVA is working with other agencies to investigate. In response, Mr Yan said he will give up rearing the geese if he has to.