AMHERST — In the case of a Canada goose living at the Quarry Lakes development, it took a village to get it the care it needed.
Residents tried to help the injured goose — it couldn’t fly because of what looked to be an injured wing — as much as possible, but there were limits to their abilities. So on Tuesday, Greg Willey, executive director of Friendship Animal Protective League, rescued the goose and took it to the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village for care.
Phyllis Molnar, a resident at the Quarry Lakes development who writes a biweekly nutrition column for The Chronicle-Telegram, said the goose has been there since the week before Christmas. Molnar said the other geese moved on but this one just huddled in a ball next to the frozen pond.
“We are worried that it will freeze or starve to death,” she said before the rescue operation.
Mark Lovelace, also a Quarry Lakes resident, said he left a message for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources last Thursday but didn’t hear back. In the meantime, Lovelace said, he left a blanket outside for the goose.
“It laid on it for a few nights,” Lovelace said. “Some neighbors also left corn and seeds for it to eat.”
Joseph Ferrara, a customer service specialist with ODNR, said in similar cases, his agency will try to provide technical guidance.
“We will get as much information as possible about the animal and then find a rehabber who can help,” he said.
Ferrara added that they are a little short-handed on wildlife officers, especially during this time of year.
“Our officers are looking into poaching cases or incidences of people hunting on other peoples’ land without permission,” he said “But we certainly care about injured animals and try to offer assistance when possible.”
Although Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village was able to take the bird into its rehabilitation center, it could not provide transportation due to limited resources. That’s why Willey stepped in to help, too.
“I don’t typically go on wildlife calls,” Willey said. “But no animal deserves to freeze and starve to death. When you see something in distress, you do something.”
Upon their arrival at the center, the goose was examined for critical injuries by Tim Jasinski, wildlife rehabilitation specialist with the center. After the bird has time to decompress, it will be given a complete health assessment.
Jasinski said Canada geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He also pointed out that some people might think these water fowl are nuisance animals, but he said they are a nuisance because people are attracting them.
“We blame the birds for the problems we are causing — if you have low cut grass and ponds — a natural habitat for geese — then it’s common sense to expect them to be there,” Jasinski said.
Jasinski said the sooner his crew can treat an injured animal, the better chance it has for survival.
“But call us before you intervene,” he said.
The direct line to the center’s wildlife rehabilitation specialist is (440) 471-8357.
Contact Cindy Breda at 329-7126 or firstname.lastname@example.org.