An injured goose at the Bashaw pond has a second chance after being rescued by volunteers.
Bashaw residents noticed recently that while all the other geese had left the pond to make their way south, there was one left that was unable to fly.
Fondly named “The Bachelor,” residents called the town office to find a way to rescue the goose before winter freeze set in. Eventually the Medicine River Wildlife Centre (MRWC) was called and they brought in a crew of volunteers and two kayaks Oct. 15 to help rescue the young waterfowl.
The stage was set and the only thing hindering the process was the Bachelor, who appeared to have a strong inkling folks were looking to grab him.
Linda Shaw and Amanda de Boer, both board members and volunteer rescuers with the MRWC, entered the pond and took circuitous routes to catch the goose in a safe manner.
“The strategy is always to get around him and bring him to shore. It’s always easier to catch them out of the water, especially if they can dive, which they can’t in this water,” said Shaw.
As the rescuers disappeared into the reeds, residents and other rescuers watched on until at last the goose could be seen coming out into the open looking for an easy escape. For Shaw, it’s about ensuring the rescue is relatively stress free.
“Here we just wanted to have the kayaks to just close in. Stay far enough away that we don’t panic him and just encourage him out of the water,” added Shaw.
At one point the goose did try to fly but couldn’t get too high. When that happened, Shaw said they slowly paddled backwards to let it relax.
Eventually the goose made it to the shore but then swam south until de Boer and Shaw were able to get it into the reeds and a few volunteers helped ensure he was safely caught in a net.
What happens next to the Bachelor all depends on an assessment at the centre’s hospital.
Shaw says they’ll give the goose a full assessment to hopefully identify the cause of the injury and possible ways to get better. If the Bachelor is unable to fly then he could find a home at the centre.
For the residents, it was a sigh of relief to know there may be a chance for the goose to fly south.
The MRWC, it is a volunteer run, donation-based organization that hopes to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured wildlife. Shaw says staff and volunteers also bring programming into schools.
“We are just under construction to renovate and rebuild the hospital,” she added.
The centre is located about 30 minutes southwest of Red Deer. For more information check out the website at www.medicineriverwildlifecentre.ca.
As for the Bachelor, it wasn’t determined if it was a male or female, so folks stayed with the original name.