I am so thrilled to be able to post this.
I know many of you have been following Sir Limps A Lot, the wild Canada goose who has been hurt in an office park on Olive and 270. There is an entire office building of kind Good Samaritans who have been caring for him and seeking help for nearly eight weeks now, and they found me and I have been trying to catch him for two weeks.
Yesterday, with the help of a friend of mine who is a fellow co-organizer for our local backyard chicken meetup group - WE CAUGHT SIR LIMPS!
His story is full of Knights in Shining Armor and Ladies in Waiting (BOY! We were "waiting" to catch him) and many, many hours of care and concern. I, alone, have lost three working days trying to catch this darling boy.
His story and his capture were filmed by Paul Schankman of Fox2 News and can be viewed here:
I had contacted Paul on Tuesday, who offered to come right out, but I was unable to meet him that day, and he arranged to meet up on this Thursday, two days later. We had terrible trouble with the net gun at first (if I wasn't so jazzed up serious about the seriousness of this goose's plight, I'd be tempted to call it a Comedy of Errors, but I did not find it funny at the time.)
Our net malfunctioned twice and Paul patiently waited while my friend and I had to both instantly teach ourselves how to reload it (without having seen the hour-long DVD on how to do so) and figure out "our" (my) mistake.
The first time it failed I said a very instantaneous and very bad word. However, Paul was across the parking lot with his camera to film my friend and me making our choreographed, planned approach. My friend was to shoot, I was to catch, and I said to the Office Park Ladies, "I better go tell Paul what has happened".
When I reached him, he told me with a laugh that he really did not need much explanation - I was still wired live for sound.
But, as they say, the third time was the charm and when the net gun actually fired properly, my friend Guy got Sir Limps a Lot on his very first try. Which was the only try that one gets with a wild, flighted goose. If he had not caught him, the chances of Sir trusting a safe return to the area would be very diminished, since I had already tried for him a few times before and it does not take long for a wild animal to become suspicious. Additionally, Canada geese are extraordinarily intelligent and he had already learned to recognize me and my car, which I had hidden, and I stayed hidden for the most part as well.
It is funny for me to watch the news clip, one never thinks about what one is doing in such an intense situation. I spent the last few nights having nightmares that Sir Limps would actually be able to fly away, entangled in the net. That is the only reason I can think of that I went bolting out from my hiding place crying out: "OH! OH! OH!" and yet still apparently had the presence of mind to shout over my shoulder: "Good shot, Guy!" Must be the teacher/consultant in me. In my last life, I must have been a cheerleader.
It took three of us at the Wildlife Rescue Center an age to disentangle him from the net from the net gun, and he was a very, very good goose. He did not hiss once, he did not struggle, and through the whole ordeal he never once tried to bite. The rescue person and I both palpated him intensely, amazingly with him just standing by himself on a sheet between us with his face covered for his comfort, and we were unable to feel any obvious break, so hopefully this is an already healing wound. He is going in for x-rays today, and I hope he can be released soon to a safe area.
The Wildlife Rescue Center is having its annual Wildlife Baby Shower this Sat, May 12th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are in Ballwin at 1128 New Ballwin Road, Ballwin 63021. This is right on the back of Castlewood Park. It is free, and one of the few times during the year that the public can tour the facility and meet the patients, and it is WELL worth a visit! There is food, games, tours, educational booths and crafts for the kids, guided nature walks, and over 20 animal welfare and environmental groups in tow.
For more information visit their website at www.mowildlife.org or call 636-394-1880. Please also visit their wish list there, or consider volunteering. Like everyone, the economic plunge has affected them and their efforts to help the wildlife, who obviously do not come with their own vet health insurance or owners to foot their bills. You can perhaps ask to meet Sir Limps A Lot, maybe he will give you a web-tograph.
If you are so inclined, since I know that this goose has become a local celebrity and community interest, please consider the following:
Please! Contact Fox 2 news and Paul Schankman directly to thank him for his interest and efforts in helping me to help "us" catch Sir Limps A Lot. I secretly had doubts that I could get him until the June molt, during which time his life would have been in constant jeopardy from traffic, and my (also secret) goal was that if only Paul could just get him on TV as to where he was located, that people would watch out to avoid hitting him. Instead, it went better than what I had desperately hoped for.
Secondly, if you can, donate to Geese Peace Saint Louis for their generous donation to me of the net gun. It is a brand new, $1,700 gun that a retired schoolteacher bought from her personal tax refund with the sole intent of only catching wounded Canada geese and any other waterfowl that need help.
And thirdly, consider the Wildlife Rescue Center. They were considering making Sir Limps A Lot their mascot for their first-ever gold tournament fundraiser coming up in June, I believe. Contact them if you are interested.
Both Geese Peace and the Wildlife Rescue Center are 501C3 Not For Profit volunteer organizations and any donations there are tax deductible. Contact me if you need help at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all who have been following the plight of this goose, I see in my notes here that he is the second most popular blog as of his last post, yea! Sir Limps!
WyndSong Border Collies and Canada Goose Management and TARA Training and Behavior, Teaching Animals with Respect and Affection, LLC