New life for injured Port Moody goose

A female Canada goose with a hole in its neck was finally captured at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody and a vet at the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. stitched up the hole. - Linda Bakker/WRA photo
A female Canada goose with a hole in its neck was finally captured at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody and a vet at the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. stitched up the hole.
— image credit: Linda Bakker/WRA photo

A mother goose with a hole in her neck is healing after surgery thanks to the efforts of the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. and the Port Moody family who rescued her.

The injured Canada Goose has been a familiar sight at Rocky Point Park for months but had eluded capture from several Good Samaritans who were concerned about her well-being until Rhonda Holman and her family took on the project as a personal mission.

Holman said she and her daughter, Savannah, 7, friend Ouna, 11, and visiting niece and nephew, Kelsey and Devon Ives, of Brooks, Alberta were picnicking at Rocky Point Park last Tuesday when they were approached by the hungry goose, looking for food.

"The goose wouldn't leave us alone, she was beside us the whole entire time," said Holman.

The family dined on sandwiches and blueberries and left the park but the sad image of a goose with its tongue sticking out of a hole in its neck was so disturbing Holman decided to phone the Wildlife Rescue Association in Burnaby.

"We all felt bad for this poor little goose, it was awful," said Holman, who was given instructions on how to capture the goose by the WRA care centre liaison.

The next day, armed with some cereal, a box and a bed sheet, the family returned to the park for the rescue mission, Holman said. "We had already visualized capturing the goose," she explained, and, with the help of another family and a visitor from Scotland, lured the goose to a place where they could throw a sheet over its head and place it in the cardboard box.

It was a nerve-wracking drive to Burnaby with the panicked goose in the box, but Holman said the effort was worth it to ensure the goose would live a long, natural, healthy life.

A fishing hook is suspected of being the cause of the injury, which was stitched up in an hour by WRA consulting vet Mira Ziolo.

Fortunately, the goose was in good physical shape, despite the hole in its neck, and is now recuperating nicely.

The association's communications coordinator praised the family for the rescue effort: "It's really a good news story," said Yolanda Brooks.

With its neck now stitched up, the goose could be back at Rocky Point Park in a few weeks, where it will likely have a happy reunion with its fellow geese and those well-wishers who were concerned about its health. Holman plans to be there for the goose release, along with the other members of her family and those supporters who succeeded in capturing the injured Canada goose where many others had failed.

Geese not dangerous

Canada geese appear threatening but they are not as dangerous as you might think, according to Yolanda Brooks, communications coordinator for the Wildlife Rescue Association. Their rounded beaks are not very harmful and they will flee when threatened, rather than attack.

"With no teeth or claws, there is limited damage that a mad Canada goose can do," Brooks wrote in an email to The News.

To capture an injured goose, the association recommends corralling it between a wall or a fence and then throwing a blanket over it before grabbing the animal below face level. "It helps if several people are involved," Brooks acknowledged.

Anyone who sees a wild animal in distress can call the Wildlife Helpline at 604-526-7275 for advice. For dangerous situations, the BCSPCA or a WRA volunteer will be sent out to do the job.

The Wildlife Rescue Association does not recommend capturing mammals because they can be unpredictable.

• The Wildlife Rescue Association is funded by donations. Find out more here


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