Jen's Creative Photography
Friday, December 13, 2013
It's beautiful, its inviting to the fishermen and ski -doers. But it is a danger that lurks for all. As you can see here. This poor Canada goose went to sleep one night. Only to get frozen in. Ann, Bob & I were out birding." The water was open 2 days ago. Bob was surprised that now it was freezing over. Not far still open with other geese, and one trumpeter swan having a bath. Probably this ones family was amongst them. She was suffering when we got to her. She was stuck fast with a huge chunk of ice attached to her leg holding her tight. The weight of it causing her great pain and difficulty. She managed to drag her laden leg out of the water. Then we noticed her leg was bleeding. Long story short. No one would help us get her. So we did it ourselves. Our human compassion could not walk away. Our safety first as always the #1 rule. Ann being a volunteer for Toronto Wildlife Center had a big net in her car. And some rope. She was a foot or so out of our safe reach. Bob had a plan. The plan worked and Bobs aim right on. We got her. Contacted TWC. Got her settled into a box wrapped in a blanket. I wrapped myself around her for my body heat. Not that I had much as it was so cold. You kind of forget all about that when you are focused on a little life. I put some corn in my hand and she gobbled it up. She was so hungry. I sat with her in the back seat until we got to Ann's car. And she and I exchanged looks as I stroked her head and talked to her. Feeding her when she wanted it. And she lay her head in my hand and stared into my eyes. Closing them once in a while as she felt warmth entering her cold body. I stoked her bill. We changed cars and met my husband. We were off. My husband Mark & I took her down. That was all we could do. She was in the best of care now. She was warm and in shelter. But we knew her leg looked real bad.
Today we got the bad news. She had to be put down. Her leg was fractured bad. It was twisted right around. That ice block was very heavy for her little leg. She could not be saved. Although we are all very sad about this we also know we did the right thing. But as I said, our safety was first. What people need to remember is that although the ice is there and looks safe. It is not. It needs to be cold for a long time to be thick enough to be safe. Currents cause week spots, depths etc. We have that choice to know when we should or should not be there. Although a lot of us don't listen when told to stay off. Leading to a senseless rescue putting recue teams lives at risk. Our wildlife do not know any different. And I am sure lots of little lives are lost due to going to sleep one night and getting frozen in. Waking up to imprisonment in ice, trapping them, rendering them totally useless. Life slips away.
This goose was going to die whether we got her or not. She was giving in. Loosing her strength to live. But with warmth her eyes got brighter, there was hope. At least she was safe and warm. She went in peace. You do what you can.
But for us humans. Stay off the ice. Till it is said it is safe to venture out. It is a heck of a way to go. And we do have a choice.!!
I want to thank everyone at the Toronto Wildlife Center for taking her in and looking after her although for a short time. I know she was in the best of hands for her ending.