Injured goose due for rescue

NASHUA – It will be all wings – er – hands on deck this weekend as a small group of people will try to catch an injured goose that was left behind when the rest of its flock flew south for the winter.

Kimberly Ducharme, manager and veterinary technician at Mercy Animal Hospital in Merrimack, talked with Mont Vernon resident Emilie Cassidy this week and has organized a rescue party of sorts to catch the injured goose and get it to a bird sanctuary.

Cassidy has been trying to find someone to catch the bird, which appears to have an injured wing, for several weeks. She noticed the goose in a small pond near the Clarion Hotel on Somerset Parkway over the summer. With winter approaching, she worried about the goose’s chances of survival.

Unbeknownst to Cassidy, Ducharme has been visiting the goose, which she’s named Lucy, about every other day since the summer, feeding it and, a few times, trying unsuccessfully to catch it. For three weeks, she’s had a room at the hospital prepared for it, complete with a small duck pond, she said.

“I was just concerned because Canada geese usually travel in flocks. They don’t normally leave anyone behind,” she said. “I just didn’t want her to starve.”

But Lucy is apparently smarter than your average goose. She appears to come to Ducharme when called by name and has so far easily eluded any attempts at capture.

“She’s pretty sly,” Ducharme said.

Ducharme did some research and tried a few ways to catch an injured goose, including trying to cover it with a blanket, using a large net or luring with food into a cage, Ducharme said.

“She saw it coming a mile away,” she said.

Ducharme hopes it will be easier now that the rest of the flock is gone.

“They can be pretty violent if they think one of them is being attacked,” she said.

This weekend Ducharme, Cassidy and a handful of other technicians from Mercy Animal Hospital hope to capture Lucy and bring her to Wings of the Dawn, a bird sanctuary in Henniker. The shelter has told Cassidy they’ll take Lucy but can’t come trap her.

Ducharme said she’s thinking about adopting Lucy, depending on her what her fate would be at Wings of the Dawn. If her wing won’t heal and that means the shelter will euthanize her, Ducharme said she would try to take her home.

“I’m not sure how my husband will feel about a goose living in the bathtub, but he’ll get over it,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of random animals in my house over the years.”

Ducharme said she’s briefly adopted squirrels and raccoons at times and nursed them back to health.