A keen eye and the quick work of a handful of people mean a Canada goose will make a full recovery.
The Cowichan Lake Chamber/Visitor Centre’s Katherine Worsley was walking her dog Bensen out at the Kinsmen Duck Pond when they came across a gaggle of particularly chatty geese.
She saw a flicker of florescent colour amongst them as they herded away, but she shrugged it off and went home.
Worsley couldn’t forget that odd flash of light amid the relatively grey birds however, and went out again the next morning to double check.
“We went down there and I continued to go down to the water and the geese did the same thing, they started to do their gaggle gaggle letting me know that I’m getting too close.”
When they took to the water, Worsley saw the arrow.
“There was that green flicker again,” she said. “I looked closer and I said ‘oh my gosh, it’s been impaled’.”
Worsley didn’t have her phone with her so she went home and made a couple of phone calls.
First she called the conservation office but they don’t have a medic on staff to take care of those sorts of things and so she was given some other numbers to try.
Then, in a fortuitous turn of events, on her way to work, Worsley came upon Roger and Ramsey, two Cowichan River Fish Hatchery employees.
“I said ‘hey, are you going on the water? Is there any way you’re going down by the duck pond? We have a goose that’s in trouble’.”
Within 15 minutes the hatchery duo had the goose in their Zodiac, up the river and at the front door of the visitors’ centre.
Worsley rushed home to grab Bensen’s dog carrier.
“This is a big goose, bigger than I thought it would be,” she said. “The goose didn’t mind getting into the kennel, it didn’t want to at first.”
Not knowing what to do with her captured waterfowl, Worsley called the The Raptor Rescue Society in Duncan.
“I didn’t know if they could help me because they deal with birds of prey but they helped me before with robins,” she noted.
In the time it took to drive from Duncan to the Lake, a volunteer from The Raptor Rescue Society was there.
The bird was taken to the Society’s veterinarian in Nanaimo, confirmed Raptors Centre general manager Robyn Radcliffe.
“The woman who found him, she did such a great job coordinating it,” Radcliffe said. “We had him at the vet within two hours of her calling us.”
The bird is expected to survive, as the arrow somehow managed to miss all the bird’s vital organs.
“It’s kind of miraculous,” Radcliffe said, noting the arrow shot between the radius and ulna in its wing, missing both.
“It’s amazing. He’s doing okay, fortunately. He’s on antibiotics,” she said.
The animal will likely be sent to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre as the Raptor Rescue Society doesn’t normally treat geese.
“We can coordinate rescues but we usually send them to people who have more experience with them,” Radcliffe said.