Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I have not been in a very good place for the last couple of weeks hence my lack of blogging, that, along with pretty much everything else seemed to be far more than I could cope with. So I apologize for not having visited your blogs, I am working on it. Today in an attempt to snap out of my funk, as it was a warm sunny day, I allowed myself the luxury of a walk in the park at lunchtime. It was nice to see and feel sunshine at last after what seems to have been an endless winter, the birds were singing and I was enjoying strolling by the pond. I sat by the waters edge and watched the ducks splatting about in the shallows and the squirrels larking about in the trees. A Canada Goose started swimming slowly towards me. I was quite surprised to see one on its own as they are all paired off right now. As the bird approached me across the water, something struck me about its demeanor, I couldn't say exactly what but it just seemed a 'bit off.' It's head was a little more drooped than usual and it just didn't seem 100%. As the goose got closer I could see something in its beak. It was hard at first to make out what it was but as it got closer I realised it was a very large fishing lure.

As I looked more closely I could see a hook pierced through the top of the beak. There was obviously also something in the birds mouth. Clearly the goose was miserable, it swam quite close to me and just looked. It put its head down to the water and tried to open its mouth but it clearly couldn't.

In my current frame of mind it was almost more than I could bear to look at it. But I made myself stay around and take some pictures before beating a tearful retreat. (Of course I also told the goose that I would get some help for it, FYI I talk to all animals, even ones without ears!)

I returned to work and phoned a man in the neighbourhood who rehabs birds and has a boat, he is one of those rare humans who will do anything to help out animals and he is definitely not afraid of getting his hands dirty. He said he would get on it straight away. I tried to give him as accurate a description of where I saw the bird as I could but there is no guarantees with this kind of thing obviously.
Imagine my delight an hour or so later when I received a call from him. He had caught the goose and had removed all the hooks - as well as the one through the beak, there were two more through the tongue! He had removed all the fishing line that was wrapped around the birds beak and the lure. He also said that the goose was absolutely fine. I thanked him profusely for his work and he laughed and said not too mention it. As of today, this guy is my hero!

And as for me, well I have something new to focus on. I am putting together a 'swat team' at work, of willing bodies prepared to wade around in the mud and scrabble about in the bushes removing any fishing line, lures and hooks left around the pond by careless fishermen, as I was walking back having seen the goose I could see plenty so I know we will have work to do. I am also using my friends with contacts to try to convince the Chicago Park District to post some signs asking fishermen to dispose of used equipment responsibly and also to provide some containers for them to dispose of it. It seems there is some truth to the saying about clouds having silver linings :)

Photo Credits - CJT


Arija said...

There is no such thing as coincidence, our feet are led to where we are needed, and the need was greater than just for one miserable goose to be helped. I am constantly amazed how the universe works when we are prepared to be still and to listen. I bet the whole thing also made your day and snapped you out of your misere.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been in a good place myself the last few weeks due to health stuff, so I didn't know if I would feel worse with this post..I am so happy that this goose could be helped as most of my attempts at rescue end badly. And I admire you for what you are trying to get going as you know that geese aren't the only victims of fishing hooks, lures and lines....This goose of gander was lucky....Michelle

moosh said...

Why dont't some people think of anything but themselves. I am so glad you were able to help the poor creature. Great project.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

And that guy was that goose's hero, too. Wow! Such a great ending.
I'm sorry you've been down. I know how awful that feels. But what a way to be lifted up out of your rut...helping a creature in trouble.

Bless you!

gtyyup said...

That is a fantastic story...love happy endings. I just wonder how he caught the goose!