BC Ministry of Environment (Conservation Officer Service): Don't Kill Lucy the Goose!
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This is Diane VanderWiel's story in her own words:
"Two years ago while touring our back roads in Fort St. James, we came upon a little ball of yellow fluff on the road. We watched as it had scurried back and forth, not wanting to interupt it rejoining it's family. Half an hour had passed and it was getting weaker as we watched. We were not the only ones watching this little bird, there was an eagle hovering above. We got out of our vehicle and scooped up the bird. We brought it home, put it in a crate, feed and watered it. A couple of weeks had passed and by this time she was stronger. I live in Fort St James, Pinchi Lake road, we have 5 acres, I have chickens and I also raise my own birds.
At that time I had baby chicks, so I placed the little bird(not knowing that she was a canada goose) in the baby pen. She adapted very well, eating, sleeping and playing in the outdoors with the other chicks. A few months had passed and after loosing her yellow down, to our surprise,we discovered that she was a canadian goose. We have tried to intergrate her back into the wild with the other geese that lay resting and feeding on our property and surrounding areas. She had no interest and was totally content with her new found family. Over the next 2 years Lucy, we named her, had established a great connection with my husband and I and our 4 dogs. Lucy would follow me and the dogs as we walked around on our property, she would reply with a honk when I said " Lets go for a walk. She would fly to me if she fell to far behind and land right at my side. I have neighbors that come to see Lucy daily, they bring their children to feed and look on in amusement. Lucy is a very gentle goose and very, very loved. Lucy has her own bathtub, I fill it often and she loves to swim and play in it. Wherever I am outside or in the house, Lucy is always by my side. This silly little goose has stolen my heart and many in the hood where we live. When I walked to visited the neighbors she would follow me and wait outside on the porch and then proceed to walk home with me. Lucy is in my home laying by the fire with my dogs, who by the way adore her as well.
So here we are, moving now to the date January 11, 2012. We look down the driveway and a non familiar truck opens the gate and pulls up to the house. Two men get out and my husband, Don , mets them outside. They want to take a look in the barn. With nothing to hide Don takes them to the barn to see Lucy. Then this beautiful blue day turns black and cold, they are here to take Lucy. They had said that they got a call from the R.C.M.P. and were dispatched out of Smithers, B.C. to come and remove the bird. With no exact reason they then removed her from the barn, but I have so say not without my verbal arguments to try to keep my girl.
Someone had made a complaint that I had a goose, she does not terrorize the neighborhood, she flies and comes back home always. Lucy does not wander, even though she is given every opportunity to do as she pleases. I also talked to the wildlife officer and was telling him that I am able and willing to obtain a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit. Which I can take in Smithers, a 4 day course, and my native band, T'latz'en nation, is willing to help me. The officer told me that I would never be able to attain one, which is not true.I was then told that I may be fined for everyday that Lucy was with us.This also is not true because Lucy was always given her freedom to come and go as she pleased. Lucy was never held captive, Lucy is not abused, Lucy is very well taken care of. I was told, as they were taking her away in a small crate, that I could see her anytime in Prince George, Northern Wildlife Rescue. So this day January 12, I pick up the phone to call P.G. Wildlife Rescue. On the other end of the phone they tell me that they do not have long term facilities to keep Lucy and she is going to be moved to Vancouver Island to be euthanized or she may be euthanized here in Prince George. Now you can see why I have been terrorized by the system and Lucy's fate is in my hands. I have been on the phone all day and now into the night to try to save my Lucy and bring her back home. Our friendly Wildlife Officer also told us that we should have stepped on her when we found her and while talking to Wildlife Rescue in P.G. she told me that that would have been the better option for Lucy. These are the people that we rely on for our wildlife conservation? I am begging you to please help me in any way that you can. I will await your reply. I have alot of family and friends that are also helping me to get the word out about our situation. Lucy has stolen the hearts of all who have had the chance to meet her, Lucy would steal your heart too.
Sincerely Diane VanderWiel and family"
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