A tiny days-old gosling was rescued from Centennial Square’s fountain on Wednesday and relocated with its parents — which were captured as well — to Beacon Hill Park.
Victoria Animal Control Services was called when the Canada Goose was spotted trapped in the water below the fountain, said Ian Fraser, senior animal-control officer. It could not get out of the water because transparent acrylic plastic surrounds the pond under its arches. There is no food in the water for the gosling, he said.
Animal Control scooped up the gosling in a net early Wednesday afternoon. Its worried parents stayed close. Fraser first captured the male, popping it into an animal kennel and stowing it in his vehicle. Animal-control officer Garry McHady held the peeping gosling in the net in the square to keep the female close. Mother goose stayed close to her youngster, honking repeatedly.
When Fraser returned, he swooped in to nab her, prompting clapping from bystanders.
She, too, went into a kennel and the baby joined her there.
The little family was then released in a lake at the park.
A green roof on top of the square’s six-storey Capital Regional District building was used as a nesting site by the geese. Fraser believes they were attracted by the plants.
At first there were nine eggs in the nest. On Wednesday, there were six, he said.
On Tuesday, a gosling — possibly the one found in the fountain — was found in the square and put back into the nest, Fraser said.
B.C.’s conservation service and the SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre were consulted prior to action being taken on Wednesday, he said.
CRD staff have installed chicken wire around the nest to direct any goslings away from the edge of the building, Fraser said.
The nest will be monitored to find out if a parent returns, he said. It’s not known if the remaining eggs will hatch. If they do, goslings would likely go to Beacon Hill or the Wild ARC.
Green roofs have “unintended consequences” because of the risk to young birds when they hatch, he said. Other birds, such as seagulls, often nest on top of city buildings and fledglings will fall to the ground as well.