Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gulliver, the Brownsville Goose, a New Chapter

There is good news from Wisconsin. The Brownsville Canada goose rescued from a precarious situation on the Mississippi River and transported to REGI a wildlife facility located in Antigo, WI in early February, has found love with another patient at REGI.

Gulliver gained strength quickly with some TLC, a warm place to heal and as much food as he wanted. We expected that would be the case. What we had not expected was that he would find something to nourish his soul as well.

When Sara Lubinski brought Gulliver from La Crosse to Antigo he was put into an area with another Canada goose patient. We will call her Lady Bird. That little lady had a string of bad luck much like Gulliver did. Lady Bird came to REGI suffering from lead poisoning and resulting starvation. Her condition was so fragile she was unable to maintain her body temperature. Cold weather is not usually an issue for Canada geese, however it was for Lady Bird.. She suffered frost bite on her feet and lost the webbing between her toes.

After Gulliver arrived lots of sounds began coming from the enclosure. I don’t profess to understand Canada goosese but the honks seemed like happy honks. We were delighted that the two geese found friendship in each other as they recovered from their individual problems.

A week ago the weather began to warm. The geese were taken to the outdoor area to continue their rehabilitation. Lady Bird was moved first. Gulliver followed a few minutes later. While it was just a matter of minutes that the geese were separated, you would have thought they had been apart for months! They ran to each other. The honking was loud, excited and kind of frantic at the same time.

All the noise got the attention of a pair of Canada geese that wintered in the pond area. One of the pair is a rehabilitation bird, the other a wild bird that arrived one day and never left. The gander of the resident pair came over to investigate the new geese. Gulliver took offense instantly and charged the other male. He was protecting his Lady Bird. The geese have adapted to each other, but are definitely two PAIR.

We don’t know how this story will end. Gulliver will have full strength and flight capability soon. We hope Lady Bird will regain her strength too so they can fly off together. But, lead poisoning takes a toll on the heart and kidneys. She may never be able to leave REGI. Gulliver may soon have a hard decision to make. Will he chose to stay at REGIs pond and make a life with Lady Bird,his new love with the funny toes, or leave her for a “wild”lifestyle?

Stay tuned for updates on the life of Gulliver the luckiest goose on the Mississippi.

Best to all,


PS. We are grateful to the many people that played a role in the capture of Gulliver and transport to REGI in Antigo. It is people such as you that make the world a better place. Teaching moments come from the oddest sources. In this case a injured Canada goose brought people together for a common good and left everyone just a bit better than before for having had the experience. Gulliver thanks you for his second chance at life.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful write-up Marge. Have been thinking about Gulliver now that waterfowl hunting is in season along the Mississippi River. Any updates to share? Is he still there with Lady Bird? Or did he leave her behind?
    Thanks, Sara Lubinski