Local volunteers and city workers joined the staff of Carolina Wildfowl Rescue to corral about 50 domesticated geese from a dried up pond owned by the city Tuesday.
Residents noticed that pond had dried up several weeks ago and brought food and water for the geese.
The organization is one of the few who deal with waterfowl, handling about 3,000 rescues a year. Director Jennifer Gordon say geese regulate their body temperature through their beaks and webbed feet, and they need pond water to survive. But she says the flightless geese were doomed because the pond served to protect them from predators.
“A fox or coyote probably had been snacking on one or two of them every night since the pond dried up,” Gordon said.
City Manager Paul Navazio said it was determined that the geese had to be removed rather than devote scarce city resources.
“That would be better than continuing to monitor the situation over a long period of time so we’re trying to keep our resources to a minimum,” Navarizo said.
Although the group of geese were very skittish, walking off if a human got to within 150 feet of them. Portable fencing and pens were set up and the geese were surrounded and herded into the trap within a few minutes. Gordon said the operation was so fast that it minimized the stress placed on the geese. They were put into cages and sent off to homes or sanctuaries in Bakersfield and Santa Cruz.
It was a satisfying day for Woodland resident Katrina Lane, who drew press attention to the plight of the geese.
“I am so excited, they are finally safe,” Lane said “This is a great day.”