Thanks to the expert medical team at the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley, the bird recovered from its injuries. Here is Deanna's account of the release:
The park was buzzing with people and dogs and remote controlled boats. It was not long before we spotted the group of waterfowl. We placed the crate near the water's edge. The goose was pounding so hard to get out of the carrier that he was bouncing it off the ground - it was pretty funny. Then, when we opened the door, he strutted out, like he owned the place, like "Here I am - did you miss me? Goose with attitude!
He walked to the edge and looked around as if to take it all in. The other geese swam up to the edge. When he jumped in the water there was no over-the-top reunion like I had hoped for, but the 4 of them did form a line as they had done before.
It was so refreshing to go from seeing him limp around and have to sit down every couple minutes, to seeing him strutting around freely. His leg looked fantastic! Having that opportunity to be apart of it from beginning to end was awesome. Wish they could all end so well.
I am including a photo of my daughter and me - a reminder of WHY this happened to the goose in the first place: fishermen not cleaning up their line!
We stayed for at least 30 minutes just walking and picking up errant line - it covered the ground, glistening in the setting sun. There was so much of it that the ground was "twinkling."
The woman who works there came out to say hello again and thanked me. She says she's regularly cleans up the line but just can't keep up with it. There are garbage cans everywhere, but I think signs would be a nice touch.
Super tired. Just finished cleaning out the carriers and my car, which now smells like a seabird pool. Gotta get some rest for my class tomorrow.
Deanna is one of our lead responders in the South Bay. She's attending an intensive 2-day wildlife rehabilitation class. Good luck, Deanna!!!!