March 24, 2014
Goose Shot With Arrow Finds Home
Les the goose saved by SFWC, finds a permanent home with friends
Les the goose has officially been adopted! He joins several other former patients of South Florida Wildlife Center at the home of a generous couple in South Florida. Unfortunately, despite having the best possible outcome—a safe and loving home—what we know of Les’s journey did not begin on such a positive note.
Les was one of two geese found shot with arrows in a canal in South Florida at the end of 2012. He was rushed to South Florida Wildlife Center where X-rays revealed that the arrow had shot straight through his shoulder and fractured his wing bone. Fortunately, South Florida Wildlife Center veterinarians determined that his fracture was treatable and they operated on him immediately. It took him almost two-and-a-half months to recover to the point where he could leave the hospital ward, but he was eventually moved to a protected, outdoor habitat where he spent most of 2013 with other adoptable waterfowl.
The desired outcome for all rehabilitation patients is successful release back into the wild. However, Les is a domestic goose, which is not a native species in South Florida. He likely ended up in the canal where he was found as a result of being released by a human who originally had him as a pet. SFWC prefers not to release non-native species, as their populations are already growing and having detrimental impacts on the local environment and native species populations. Therefore, like other non-native species who end up at SFWC for treatment and rehabilitation, Les became a candidate for adoption.
Now he has that home. The husband and wife who adopted him are experienced adopters of non-native species. They first adopted a swan from SFWC several years ago and, with Les, their current brood consists of two swans, four ducks, and two geese.
With two acres of property—including a quarter-acre fenced-in pond—the couple was looking to adopt another swan. However, SFWC Adoption Coordinator Michelle Frier suggested adopting a goose, since geese are known for alerting to possible predators. After reading Les’ profile online, the Schafers visited SFWC to meet him. He proved himself immediately.
Les's new adoptive father says, “His story was a big plus, but he walked right over to us, and we hit it off. He’s so friendly. Geese as a rule are not, but he eats right out of our hands.”
Initially concerned about natural predators on their property, the the couple received counseling from SFWC on how to properly feed, protect, and care for the adopted animals. Equipped with this knowledge, they have come to realize that having the domesticated species of waterfowl on their property brings with it many benefits. They help to maintain the bug and plant population around the pond, and their presence is a great pleasure for the couple. “They’re a joy. It’s really a laugh a minute when they interact with each other,” says Les' adoptive mother.
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