Goose mourning loss of mate refuses to leave Woodstock shopping center

- A Woodstock woman is pleading for help to save a “mourning Canadian goose” that refuses to leave the shopping center where its mate was killed.

Desiree Stewart works at The Shop shopping center on Molly Lane. For about two years, she says a couple of geese nested at a pond across the street from the center. Once their eggs would hatch, the family would all migrate north for winter.

But last December, Stewart says, tragedy struck. Before they started their nesting ritual, the pair of geese walked across the street and one of them was hit by a car and killed.

“Someone from the center found the dead goose,” Stewart said through tears. “Canadian geese mate for life and, when one of them dies, the other just won’t leave them. They’ll stay here, hoping that the other one will come back, even if it means that they will die too.”

According to Wikipedia, once a Canada goose finds a mate, the couple is monogamous and most couples stay together all of their lives.

“The surviving goose has been here since that happened,” Stewart said. “It never leaves.”

Stewart says the goose is friendly and hasn’t attacked anyone at the center, but store owners have become frustrated with the goose’s droppings being littered all over the ground.

The center’s landlord has received several complaints about the “mess,” and Stewart says she is growing concerned for the goose’s safety.

“I am worried someone is going to take matters into their own hands,” she said.

The groundskeeper has tried several times to catch the goose with no luck.

“We’ve called animal control, rehabilitation centers…and everyone says, ‘well, it’s not injured, it’s not hurting anybody…just leave it alone,’” said Stewart.

“I’m hoping someone will help relocate it or tell me what to do… and help this bird find happiness again,” Stewart said.

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