Sep 30, 2013

Injured goose at Hellyer Park

By Deanna Barth

Yesterday, I answered an emergency call about an injured Canada goose in Hellyer Park, in San Jose. 

I’ve been to Hellyer Park quite a few times when doing “my rounds", so I knew what to expect. There could be, literally, hundreds of geese there. With that in mind, I brought my 7 year old daughter along to help.  

When we arrived, sure enough, the park was full of Canada geese, each one looking nearly identical to the next.  

We were looking for a goose with fishing line wrapped around its leg. Many of the geese were "resting". We'd have to "ask" them to stand to get a peek at their legs.

I reminded my daughter how to approach the birds - close enough to encourage them to stand, but slow enough not to scare them off.  

She took one side of the path, I took the other.   

We'd gotten about 40 birds to stand, when I spotted the injured one. 

It had fishing lined wrapped tightly around its leg, cutting into its skin. The leg was severely swollen. 

On approach, it limped a couple of inches, then sat back down. A few geese in the surrounding flock pecked at the weak one. I'd need them to move off if I was going to catch this poor bird.

I handed some crumbles to my daughter and asked her to entice them away.  

With just a few geese around me, I began tossing crumbles toward the injured bird, maneuvering it into place on my right side. As soon as I felt it was within arm's reach, I slowly crouched beside it, waited for the right moment, then pounced.  

I got it!

I gathered the big bird's wings and placed a pillow over its eyes to reduce visual stress. We loaded it into a carrier and transported it to the wildlife hospital - Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley. With luck, it will recover from this injury to be released back to the wild.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the injury was so severe, the goose was euthanized.