West Seattle’s white geese suddenly relocated to Vashon Island

image1 (19)
(June photo contributed by Claudia, weeks before two of the goslings were killed)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Fauntleroy’s white geese are gone.

Early this summer, their numbers were up to five – parents and three goslings.

Then in early July, a driver hit and killed two of the goslings.

In recent days, we had received a few notes from worried West Seattleites, saying the remaining adult male gosling seemed to be missing too, and they were seeing only the female and the surviving gosling.

As of hours ago, those two are gone – but still alive – and their whereabouts are no mystery.

We found out through two calls today from a Lincoln Park-goer who told the story of what he considered an unauthorized capture: He said he was at the park early this afternoon, the two white geese nearby, when two people suddenly swooped in with carriers, put blankets over the geese, stuffed them into the carriers, and departed. Before they left, he said, another concerned outlooker found out that they were being taken to an animal sanctuary on Vashon Island called Baa Haus.

The caller said police were called and given a license plate number, but couldn’t catch up with the goose-capturers before they ferried away.

We hadn’t heard of Baa Haus before but looked it up online and left messages via voice-mail and e-mail. This evening, we got a call back.

Yes, Baa Haus has the geese, said the caller. They had received numerous calls from people worried the geese were in danger and needed to be rescued, before Baa Haus finally got the chance to intervene today via “a good Samaritan,” she said. She referred to the geese as having been “dumped in a park” and didn’t know much about their history, except to say Baa Haus understood “their numbers were dwindling.”

The two geese, she said, are “settling in quite happily” tonight at their new digs on the nonprofit’s six acres on Vashon, where they have about 30 geese in all. They will be “in quarantine” for a while, she said, until Baa Haus can get them checked out by a vet, and then they’ll work to integrate them with the other geese. But so far they seem to be in good spirits and condition, she said, adding that they’ve been vocalizing – “trash talking” as she put it with laughter – with the other geese.

Our conversation was brief, and we’ll be following up. Before we learned where the geese were, we had put in a call, unreturned, to the Seattle Animal Shelter, which had some involvement with the birds over the years, particularly in cases where the geese had been attacked by dogs.

We recall seeing white geese like these on the beach at Lincoln Park and nearby Cove Park going back more than 15 years; the question is whether anyone ever actually owned them, and whether Baa Haus needed anyone’s permission to remove them from the park. The spokesperson said her organization, which has been around for 20 years, has worked with numerous other groups, organizations, and entities.

122 Replies to "West Seattle's white geese suddenly relocated to Vashon Island"

  • ACG September 9, 2016 (8:25 pm)

    So many mixed feelings. I loved seeing those geese and my kids were always so excited to see them and watch them. But, I have witnessed them being attacked and harassed by off leash dogs numerous times over the years which was always distressing and angered me a lot. So, if they are in a safer place, that does make me happy. However, the “capture” seems a little sketchy to me and I’m wondering how legal something like that is. Best wishes to you sweet geese!  Our family will miss you!!

  • Megan September 9, 2016 (8:33 pm)

    A couple of years ago I met a man who lives south of the ferry dock and he told me the geese belong to him. I suppose it’s possible he wasn’t telling me the truth, but don’t know why he would have made it up! 

  • Goose Guardian September 9, 2016 (8:38 pm)

    While it would have been ideal to let folks know ahead of time that this goose relocation was in the works, especially for the two, very dear Slavic ladies who had been feeding them fresh greens every single day for years, the Vashon farm animal sanctuary is so much better for the geese, especially if it is true that the geese were originally dumped at the beach some years ago.  Seeing dogs and humans harass the geese on a daily basis,  I heard at least three comments this summer that people were planning to capture and eat the nearly grown remaining chick, which did disappear a few weeks ago.  Happy new life, white geese!

  • K'lo September 9, 2016 (8:55 pm)

    Sigh! While I think this relocation is a good thing, it makes me sad to hear of their plight over the last few years. Many years ago, as a employee of WSF, my colleges and I took care of, not only the white geese, but also Mama Goose – going back 15 years or so. I am also saddened to hear the one remaining gosling has disappeared. Damn humans and their desire to let their dogs run free thus harassing the wildlife and (the mostly) young people that think it’s ‘funny’ to pick on something so much smaller than them. Karma’s a bitch and will find you when you least expect it!

    • WSB September 9, 2016 (9:01 pm)

      FWIW the two most recent people to e-mail us (one of whom even listed names for the geese, which I’d never heard before) thought the one that disappeared was the full-grown male, NOT the gosling. I hadn’t seen them firsthand in many weeks, nor had anyone seen photos, so I have no idea how to verify, aside from asking the Baa Haus folks what they think when I follow up. – TR

  • Susan September 9, 2016 (8:57 pm)

    Vigilante geese thieves. Sigh…

  • Jeannie September 9, 2016 (9:15 pm)

    Thank you, Baa Haus. I’ll miss seeing the geese, but they’re a lot safer away from idiots with their off-leash dogs and the speeding drivers by Cove Park. 

  • M September 9, 2016 (9:24 pm)

    What authority do they have to take the geese. Someone should travel to Vashon and take them back.  There has to be some kind of Seattle city ordinance that prevents someone from just taking wildlife from a public city park. 

    • Mike September 9, 2016 (10:16 pm)

      They don’t have authority.  If the city wishes to pursue an investigation and move forward with fines and/or jail time for illegal seizure of domesticated geese on public land, they can.  I’m going to guess the city won’t care.  Sadly, the organization that does have them now didn’t follow legal processes to move the animals, which would have guaranteed a safe and permanent home.

      • chemist September 10, 2016 (9:23 am)

        Do first, let the city twist itself in knots trying to figure out the appropriate penalty (if ever).

        Sounds like that tree clearing in NE Admiral which is probably still being negotiated with lawyers and one home being sold recently.

  • Gene September 9, 2016 (9:57 pm)

    M- take them back & what- put them where they were in danger? Have you read any of the comments here? Seems these geese were harassed by dogs or humans a lot. While a heads up would have been nice -they are in a safe place now & hopefully will have long & happy lives.  An example of how a selfish few  can spoil something that others get so much joy from. 

  • Wsres September 9, 2016 (10:03 pm)

    Poor geese. I’ve read the many stories of how they have been harrassed. I am a dog owner and it makes me angry at how many dog owners think their dogs should be able to have free reign of the parks. Vashon is much better place for the geese since seattlelites can’t seem to protect them from other seattlelites and their dogs.

  • Krs September 9, 2016 (10:08 pm)

    Glad they are at a sanctuary now. Too many times I witnessed these poor geese harrassed by animals and humans.

  • Stacy September 9, 2016 (10:19 pm)

    When will people learn to leave Mother Nature alone. Stop trying to save the world and let nature take its course. Don’t get me wrong, in my 9 years in west Seattle living blocks from the park, the geese have been “family” to me too, but they are wild and natural creatures and as such should be allowed to be as nature would want it.

  • Jason September 9, 2016 (10:19 pm)

    I just relocated to Vashon as well.  See ya around town, geese.

  • Humane Citizen September 9, 2016 (10:32 pm)

    First of all, the white geese are not wildlife like orcas or eagles, they are abandoned farm animals, so how is taking the geese to a sanctuary where they will be safely and humanely cared for a violation to any law?   Why in the world would “authorities” want to “take them back” to where they were unprotected, abused and killed?  It is surely not enough to want them back just to enjoy their unique presence at Lincoln Park Beach.  

  • Cove Resident September 9, 2016 (10:45 pm)

    Mixed emotions!  Just saw the male and female this morning on a walk. Yes, the female has been around for 10-15 years; a local resident purchased the male May 2015 integrated him with the females and then this year for a short time we were able to enjoy the family. Had hoped at least one of the goslings  would have made it. They have given many years of delight to so many…they will be missed.

  • Raincity September 9, 2016 (10:56 pm)

    In Washington State wildlife means “means all species of the animal kingdom whose members exist in Washington in a wild state. ” These geese were not feral as they were not born in captivity and escaped. The geese and their offspring have lived here wild for a long time.


    It’s illegal to take wild life without a permit.


  • Julia September 9, 2016 (11:07 pm)

    I’m with the mixed feelings group. I hope they are happy and well cared for. I’ll miss seeing them, but not worrying about them. There have been different geese there for decades — used to be gray ones — so maybe new ones will show up sometime.

  • Bonnie September 9, 2016 (11:25 pm)

    I saw the geese just this morning.  A man was feeding them.  Very upset they would be relocated!

  • Kev September 9, 2016 (11:28 pm)

    I see that many people blame dogs harassing the geese. As a dog owner, I’ve walked by them with Jackson many times. I’ve seen humans harass quite often while dog owner’s are responsible enough to keep them away. People were the greater threat than dogs.

    • Marianne September 10, 2016 (7:57 am)

      Kev- You are correct. Ultimately people are the problem and those with dogs choose to keep their dogs on a leash or not.

    • Mike September 10, 2016 (8:26 am)

      Same, I’ve never seen a dog harass those geese, but have seen a ton of children running after them, adults feeding them, adults throwing rocks and sticks at them (yes, adults), etc.  Not one dog going after the geese, but a lot of people.

    • Lou September 10, 2016 (10:38 am)

      Have to disagree on dogs. Every dog owner thinks their dog is the exception and can run off leash without causing harm. I’ve seen dogs chase birds time and again, often with their human egging them on. 

      • JO September 12, 2016 (10:00 am)

        Not “Every” dog owner thinks this. Many, many dog owners are keenly aware of their responsibility and work hard to overcome the crappy attitudes and behaviors of a few irresponsible dog owners. The geese were a favorite part of my daily walk and we always viewed them at a very non-disruptive distance. That said, I’m sure the geese will be safer (from all sorts of dangers) at a sanctuary on Vashon.

  • Keri September 9, 2016 (11:45 pm)

    The trio on August 19.  

  • Howard September 9, 2016 (11:55 pm)

    Islanders pillaging the peninsula. As if fending off Californians from the south wasn’t enough to do. I hope their bike in a tree doesn’t disappear. 

  • Mallinson September 10, 2016 (12:10 am)

    Where I come from, stealing another town’s geese is a hostile act and maybe even a declaration of war. It’s on, Vashon! I’m going to High Point to blow the goose call and assemble the troops. We sail for Vashon at dawn. This aggression will not stand, man! Seriously though, I think it’s only right that we now get to take something from the island unannounced. I vote for that delicious Thai restaurant.

    • Mike September 10, 2016 (8:27 am)

      Take their goats and have them eat our blackberry bushes.

  • Ms F September 10, 2016 (12:54 am)

    I am so sad!  How do we know that this “sanctuary” is the best for the geese?  These people just sound like thieves to me.  They sound like the do-gooders that try to “save” baby seals resting on the beach.  They had no right! 

  • Gene September 10, 2016 (6:42 am)

    MS F-

    what- you want them back here- where they gave been harassed/ hurt/killed- sounds like this sanctuary had been in business for many years- so not even close to ” the do-gooders” you speak of. 

    While I will miss seeing them- I’m thankful to those who reached out to get some help for these geese.

    Have nothing but scorn & disgust for those that think it’s fun to torment – or allow their pets to torment them. They are are the ones “who had no right”‘

  • Donna Dykstra September 10, 2016 (6:48 am)

    I’m also in the mixed feelings group. I loved seeing them. But as has been discussed here more times than I can count, people with off-leash dogs (and no 100% perfect recall, either) insist on continuing their behavior and nothing anybody says or does deters them. Maybe we haven’t all observed those dogs harrassing the geese but there have been plenty of reports.  Ideally, instead of relocating the geese we should trap the off-leash dogs and send them to rescue groups.  Off-leashers, flame away, but I have been on the receiving end of your dogs charging up to my leashed dogs and stressing and frightening them.  I suspect if you did not continue in this behavior those wondeful geese would have continued to be fixtures for all of us to enjoy.

  • waikikigirl September 10, 2016 (7:52 am)

    I too have mixed emotions about the “geese” no longer being here at LP but after this past July and those 2 babies getting killed by a car I was so saddened and hoped that maybe someone with a farm would snatch them up and take them to safety… 

    Maybe for all of the skeptics that think Bau Hauss  are terrible people for taking them should go for a boat ride and take a look at the place and after seeing that hopefully the LP geese are better there than in a public park will feel better that they were taken.

    I for one would had snatched them a long time ago but the hubby says we don’t have room! :>)

  • Marianne September 10, 2016 (7:54 am)

    I am thrilled that the remaining geese will be safe for the rest of their lives.

  • Ms_F September 10, 2016 (8:01 am)

    I also had to speak to children (and primarily their oblivious parents) more than a few times to leave the geese alone.  I truly hope the geese are ok.  I have video of them with the  babies and it breaks my heart every time I see it.

  • Take a ferry and visit September 10, 2016 (8:24 am)

    The geese first appeared three months after Easter back in the day. Someone’s oh they were so cute hatchlings grew not so cute and were dumped in the park.

    Jerks racing over domestic geese are not part of the cycle of nature. Multitudes of charging dogs, drunk folks and fireworks aimed at them?

    Thank you Vashon people. Act first, apologize later is appropriate in this case. 

  • Rick in the Park September 10, 2016 (8:40 am)

    Seeing as how these beloved geese were hand raised just south of the park,those people have no right to kidnap our geese. But unless they’re in a cage-CRUEL-   they can and will fly right back to their home, Lincoln Park, and freedom once agin. Tell Goody Two Shoes to stay on Vashon and leave Nature to itself.

  • Sunuva September 10, 2016 (8:48 am)

    I’m wishing more could have been done to make the geese safer where they were. They were a wonderful sight to always see at Lincoln Park. I’ve seen so many kids filled with delight at seeing them there.

    I frequent the park a few times a week and have never seen anyone let their dogs harass the geese. That said, I do see off-leash dogs in that park pretty much every single time I go, usually in the wooded area in the center of the park. So, I can imagine the possibility, just never have seen it myself. I find it hard to fathom that people exist that would let their dogs harass wildlife, but more likely believe they couldn’t control their off leash dogs because, duh, they didn’t have a leash.

    Thanks to the Dog Owners who allow their dogs off-leash for causing this to happen! This is why we can’t have nice things!

  • Wsres September 10, 2016 (9:26 am)

    Kev- did you know that a baby seal was killed by an off leash dog this summer? Off leash dogs are indeed a problem. People harass too, but off leash dogs are annoying at a park. And yes, I am a dog owner.

    • LS September 10, 2016 (9:23 pm)

      Yes, and it’s illegal and shouldn’t be tolerated in a PARK.

  • MS September 10, 2016 (9:28 am)

    These geese are known by all. The male is Sam and if you call him by name will come up to you. His own let him be down there many years ago and the female was someone that flew in to the area. Sam had a girlfriend once before but someone snatched her from the parking lot. Sam came from Lopez Island many years ago. The geese were fine until people started getting in their space and kids plucking feathers off them for fun as adults stood by. When I see Sam’s original owner we will let him know where they have been located so he can contact the place they are being safe haven. Glad to know they ARE indeed alive! 

    • K'lo September 10, 2016 (9:56 am)

      As someone that helped raise at least one of the white geese, I can tell you they did not come from Lopez. It was born right there at Fauntleroy Cove 6-7 years ago. The Momma had  been ‘dumped’ there over 15 or so years ago. Infertile eggs had been laid for many years until a white goose flew in one year, low and behold, two of the three goslings hatched  grew to be the beautiful white geese we’ve all been enjoying for these last several years. Perhaps one of the white geese is from Lopez, however, it’s  my belief the male is the transplant, as the two original surviving goslings were female, laying infertile eggs until one of them disappeared after a third (male) white goose showed up. (below-original Momma goose w/goslings in front of the white house just north of the dock)

  • flimflam September 10, 2016 (9:53 am)

    sounds like the geese will be safer at their new home.

     I can see being bummed out to not see them anymore but this is for the best.  

  • Al September 10, 2016 (10:05 am)

    This is crap. Is it ok to go there and grab animals?  Did they get permission to take them??

  • Joe Szilagyi September 10, 2016 (10:10 am)

    Fare thee well, adorably surly geese.    

  • Joe Szilagyi September 10, 2016 (10:13 am)

    And this is a great example of why Lincoln Park needs a proper off-leash park, and RIGHT BY where the main public area/parking is. Not secluded or anything like down on the water or in the forest. That big huge generally under-utilized lawn, by the big parking lot? Right there. Big long, long one, to let the dogs really, really cut loose and run. Put a big huge “OFF-LEASH DOG PARK 100 YARDS THIS WAY –>” sign by the waterfront trail head.

    • dunnkld September 11, 2016 (10:18 am)

      Joe, you are possibly right about Lincoln Park needing an off leash area, however this will not solve the problem that off leash scofflaws advertise widely that it is a place where they can get away with giving their dogs water exercise. I’m looking at you, the couple throwing a stick out to their black lab just south of Colman Pool around 6pm last night. A large seal was swimming in the area at the same time. There could also have been seal pups nearby, I feel guilty now I didn’t confront them. Dog owners, please take your dogs to Magnuson Park for water exercise where it is allowed and where there will be no conflict with marine wildlife.

      • mike September 14, 2016 (11:59 am)

        Nope, we pay taxes just like everyone and want access to the water here in west seattle.

        • dsa September 14, 2016 (12:39 pm)

          I think you and your dog should have legal access to at least one beach in WS Mike.

  • schwaggy September 10, 2016 (10:14 am)

    @stacy letting mother nature run its course does not include domesticated dogs and humans harassing the geese.

    They’re better off on Vashon. Yes, better to ask forgiveness than permission is correct in this case. I’m so glad they’re gone – I was sick and tired of their plight.

  • seaopgal September 10, 2016 (10:52 am)

    I didn’t read anything about the sanctuary “asking forgiveness” or “apologizing.” And it sounds like they acted on incomplete information, with no authority … a ridiculous over-step on their part. These geese belong to no one and every one, and should have been left alone. 

  • Azimuth September 10, 2016 (11:01 am)

    Yes x50 Joe Szilagyi

  • JE September 10, 2016 (11:09 am)

    Oooooo, I love the idea of trapping and relocating the off-leash dogs to a sanctuary far, far away!

    • chemist September 10, 2016 (12:42 pm)

      How about deputizing concerned citizens with a bit of training and authority to issue tickets for off-leash/lack-of-waste-handling-gear/ability to check for dog license registration ?  Kind of like the parking meter folks, except a bit more “park cleanup volunteer”.

  • Gypsy September 10, 2016 (11:10 am)

     I’m VERY HAPPY for the rescue and wish them many years of goose health on Vashon!

    As a Fauntleroy resident and frequent Lincoln Park visitor I have witnessed these animals being harassed by people of all ages and chased by dogs far too often.  (Yes I’d intervene as needed). 

  • Animals Count September 10, 2016 (11:20 am)

    Very sad when folks are more interested in defending “rights” than best interests of animals clearly at risk.  Many thanks to WSB for your always fair and thorough journalism — and access to this excellent community forum.

  • wb September 10, 2016 (11:48 am)

    The people who grabbed these geese are heros.  Apparently there are those who would rather see the geese under the wheels of a car or harassed by dogs and children.  I am dismayed and disgusted at some of the stories here, and am grateful the geese have been spirited away to Vashon.

    • Sunuva September 10, 2016 (12:45 pm)

      Wow. Nobody said they’d rather see the geese under the wheels of a car. Can you elaborate on what people have said that was so disgusting? I just read a bunch of people who were sad to see the geese go because they enjoyed their presence at the park and many of those same people upset that the geese were being harassed and weren’t safe there. People are capable of having mixed feelings and seeing multiple points of view.

  • PJ September 10, 2016 (11:55 am)

    Thank God they have been taken someplace where they have a chance to live in a safer environment. . I have had to stop people ( some drunk) scare and chase the geese. I and even seen the geese with blood on their wings from people wanting to pull a feather from them. 

    These geese are not “wildlife” birds – they are domestic geese that need to be care for and protected, yet have been left to fend from themselves – something they are not equipped to do easily. They can NOT fly away from predators or unconscious humans like regular Canadian Geese.  Its amazing that some people do not get that. They have needed a place where they are regularly feed, given shelter and protected.

    I have been very worried about the last remaining geese this summer – especially when I was not there to say something to protect them.  I have witnessed dogs, children and even adults chase them till to the point of exhaustion. One young man at Lincoln park  has a video of a women taking one of the geese by the neck and tossing into the air, supposedly for acting threatening ( real reason she was to close to they young ones and they were being protective)  Recently I saw the geese  running away from 2 huge dogs  – which I had to chase away.  The owner of the two large dog tried to tell me that the geese where threatening his dogs – when in fact all the geese are able to do is stretch their neck out and hiss. They were doing the only thing they could to to protect themselves.   A nip from from their beaks can do very little to hurt anyone . One move or bite from a dog would end the a goose’s life very quickly. 

    The last few times I feed the geese,  the older one ( the mother ) was making  a strong raspy sound  – a sign of sickness – sometimes form poor nutrition. The sanctuary they are at has a vet that will look after them and can help her recover. 

    I am so grateful that people like this  exist and have the space to provide a REAL HOME for these very vulnerable animals. Most of  them have died recently from cars and animal attacks. Maybe the last two have a real chance at having a safe and sane life

    I don’t know who are these people are but am so relieved that the geese are getting some real help and that  finally  someone did something lasting to help these domestic  geese. I am sincerely and deeply grateful they care enough to make a difference 


  • dsa September 10, 2016 (12:30 pm)

    Thanks for writing pj.

  • Judy Stark September 10, 2016 (12:42 pm)

     Shame on people that have their dogs off leash at the park AND shame on people that harass the geese. 

  • Jason September 10, 2016 (12:42 pm)

    Hopefully somebody will find something else to put in Lincoln Park that doesn’t belong so the locals have something to lecture each other about.

  • Jeannie September 10, 2016 (2:47 pm)

    Baa Haus does good work; you can thank them for rescuing the geese by going to their website or their Facebook page. 

    • WSB September 10, 2016 (2:55 pm)

      Which reminds me – a couple of people have said they don’t know anything about Baa Haus … As with everything we publish on WSB, we include links – any word you see in blue is a link to something related to that word (or phrase). These are all hand-curated links by your editor here – nothing automated – they’re all links that include additional information, and that includes the link to the first reference of Baa Haus; they have a website, though I don’t know how often they update it – “recent rescues” as of this morning did not yet include any mention of this one. As mentioned, we will be following up with them to find out more about what led up to this among other questions; I’m also watching to see what questions might arise in comments here, as we do with many stories, to potentially include in my followup with them. (We will also renew our inquiry with the Seattle Animal Shelter on Monday as well as Seattle Parks, because I too am curious about the “rules” regarding animals that live, at least part time, in city parks.) – TR

  • ally September 10, 2016 (3:24 pm)

    @PJ… Ditto and thank you!

  • Animals Count September 10, 2016 (3:59 pm)

    Thank you, PJ, for your voice of reason AND your compassion!  I appreciate the details you provided.  Domesticated geese are not equipped to escape or defend themselves and should not be left in a busy park to somehow survive all of the abuse they have suffered.

  • Ms_F September 10, 2016 (4:08 pm)

    I am in Lincoln Park and there are white feathers scattered everywhere.  This “rescue” appears not to have been done gently.  I did visit the sanctuary’s web site but am amazed how I have never heard of them, unlike other farm animal sanctuaries like Pasados Safe Haven — who  I know does amazing work for animals.  Hence I’m a bit skeptical that this “rescue” has been done in the most humane way possible.

    • Tiffany September 12, 2016 (2:24 pm)

      You’re incorrect. Adult geese this time of year are molting their feathers. For you to assume from a photo of some molted feathers that somehow the rescue was not gentle is ignorant and irresponsible.

  • JanS September 10, 2016 (4:26 pm)

    oh, good grief…listen to yourselves….what is better, the fact that they will be safe to live out their lives, or the fact that you’re all just a little butt hurt and can’t see them any more…go to Vashon on a nice Sunday afternoon and visit…

  • JanS September 10, 2016 (4:28 pm)

    here is their website


    • chemist September 10, 2016 (4:55 pm)

      Why don’t you tell us where and when the visiting hours of “P.O. Box 2356
      Vashon, WA 98070” is Jans ?

  • WSeattleite September 10, 2016 (4:38 pm)

    Very interesting to read the comments here.  It would seem that dumping domesticated animals in a public park would have originally been against the law or at least a bad idea.  Now they seem to be considered by some to be “wildlife”.  Perhaps we should dump some pregnant goats in the park.  The newly born kids would be considered native and eventually “wildlife” apparently.  Perhaps we should have a pack of feral dogs as “wildlife”?  A lot of discussion about dogs running free, when in fact someone’s geese were running free.  These are domesticated geese.  It is too bad that despite all the concern about dogs, it was in fact traffic that turned out to the major killer with the fine family.  I will miss them, but unless we are trying to have a petting zoo in Lincoln Park, they should be on a farm somewhere.  I find it ironic that there are groups that spend a lot of time and effort removing invasive plants from Lincoln Park, when other groups champion the permanent residency of barnyard animals.

    • LS September 10, 2016 (9:32 pm)

      The “dumped” birds were indeed not wild, but they are also not predators. Dogs on the other hand, bite HUMANS and OTHER DOGS and not one single dog can be 100% trusted off leash. Not to mention that off leash animals are an example of very poor human manners, since there are actually people who DON’T LIKE DOGS. I am not one of those but you will not see my dog off leash unless he has somehow escaped me, in which I fear greatly that I will be sued when something goes awry since it would be MY FAULT.

      The dog issue is highly pertinent since the birds (that many enjoyed as if they were almost wildlife) were indeed harassed by dogs through the humans who “walked” them.  

  • Recon guy September 10, 2016 (5:29 pm)

    A team of four will venture to Vashon tonight on the 6pm ferry, wait, snatch and return.  They will be back tomorrow. We promise.

    • Margaret September 10, 2016 (10:14 pm)

      Recon Guy: so you know exactly where to go to find the geese and think you can “sneak” in and further traumatize these poor creatures by “snatching” them and returning them to an unsafe place? Will you be able to find them if they are in quarantine? What if they are already in the group of 30 geese already there, can you be sure you would know you have “snatched” the right ones. They are safe now why interfere? 

  • Elle Nell September 10, 2016 (6:04 pm)

    Happy the geese are in a safe haven… Seattle and its “new style” or no style, is no place for fragile or delicate beings anymore… We used to be able to nurture and appreciate ALL beings. This is what is terribly sad…

  • JanS September 10, 2016 (6:27 pm)

    hey, chemist…google is your friend…contact them and see if they’ll allow you to tour their premises, see their credentials. It’s a legit safe haven, and much better than entertaining rude, stupid people at Lincoln Park, with their  dogs and kids pestering these geese all the time.  That’s the reality of it. They are not a novelty for the neighborhood entertainment…they are animals/birds that need to live out their life peacefully  being cared for. I can’t imagine you’d have a problem with that.

  • Kate September 10, 2016 (7:29 pm)

    The geese are better off on Vashon.

  • cj September 11, 2016 (12:51 am)

    There are signs wih laws posted forbiding dogs from he public beaches.  Our only problem is lack of enforcement.

    • JanS September 11, 2016 (11:15 pm)

      @CJ…it’s not lack of enforcement that’s the issue…it’s the dog owners who , first, need remedial reading, and second, need to understand that their precious furbaby is not exceptional/special to anyone but themselves…and keep them on a leash like good law abiding citizens (lol…fat chance)

  • Greystreet September 11, 2016 (5:59 am)

    This whole string, and I read all 70-some comments reminds me of the “Cause-heads” in the movie “PCU” I’m giggling over my coffee–because of course it went from a story about the geese being relocated to canine bashing again–lmao, oh West Seattle, you’ll never cease to be ridiculous 

  • Al September 11, 2016 (8:21 am)

    Vashon. Did you get permission?? 

  • Sunuva September 11, 2016 (8:58 am)

    I’m amazed at how quickly people on this thread became accusatory of people who were upset about how this went down. Name calling isn’t necessary. I think many people were more upset about HOW they were taken, not THAT they were taken. There are a bunch of comments here making it sound like the plight of these birds was very obvious, so why was there no public discussion of if before the heist? I think there would have been a lot less surprise if this was discussed among the community instead of a sudden grab & go. I’m sure if the plight of these birds was discussed openly that the entire community would have agreed that they should be relocated and there would have been very little, if any, controversy. Don’t dare for a second to say that I’d rather these birds be in danger for my personal enjoyment, that’s just rude and wrong. I do think a community can solve problems like this together without resorting to this sort of drastic activism which obviously alarmed many.

    • chemist September 11, 2016 (11:42 am)

      Well said Sunuva.  There have been animal relocations performed with the parks department’s coordination/involvement in the past.   Koi at Volunteer park, Rabbits at Woodland Park, and probably others I can’t recall.


      • Sunuva September 12, 2016 (8:16 am)

        Exactly. Something like this should have been coordinated with local services such as animal control and the parks department, to ensure it was done properly and legally. From everything I’ve read in this story and thread, it doesn’t sound like it was coordinated with any of the services that would be expected.

  • Venus7 September 11, 2016 (11:16 am)

    First of all, I am so glad our dear geese friends are finally safe in a farm sanctuary specifically there to love and think about them. I am grateful to everyone who cared for them, for those who reported the situation to Animal Control, and to Animal Control for picking them up and delivering them to the BauHaus. And I am really thankful that the BauHaus made room for and welcomed them. Nobody “seized” them illegally. It was illegal for them to have been abandoned there in the first place. Now that has been rectified. It is truly the best life for these lovely, dear geese: domestic farm animals living on a farm! Let’s all donate to the BauHaus to assist them in their ongoing mission – and in caring for our friends.

    If you think about it, there are blog posts here dating at least back to 2010 describing concern about the welfare of the geese – people reported things like slingshots being aimed at them, for instance. The community of people who care for them can’t always be there to protect them. Their family very quickly went from 5 to 2, and while we discussed the matter, which, as a community takes time – time we don’t have, we might have lost the remaining 2, Mother (Beatrice) and the one surviving Gosling (Sammy). No-one really seems to know how Sam, the gander disappeared a few weeks ago, other than there was a commotion at the ferry dock at 3 am, and he went missing after that.

    I personally have had to stand between small children on their bikes who were trying to ride into the geese, stop adults from hurting them, try to educate people on what to feed them, especially keep dogs away from them. I couldn’t always be around to protect them, and this year I was really worried for them. I have found them to be very dear and grateful to have company. Now they have lots of company, and will become part of a flock of geese. 

    What a perfect outcome! Thank you all, thank Animal Control, thank the BauHaus, and thank the geese for tolerating all of us.

    • chemist September 11, 2016 (11:44 am)

      Yours is the first mention of any official “Animal Control” involvement, fyi.

      • WSB September 11, 2016 (11:57 am)

        The Baa Haus person who returned my phone call did not say Seattle Animal Shelter was involved in the pickup and I would have expected that the person who called us, twice, who witnessed it, would have recognized a uniformed SAS employee. I had put out a call to SAS to ask if they knew anything about the geese being removed, before the second call from the witness, who in that call told me it was Baa Haus, which confirmed it in their return of my call. SAS didn’t return my call before day’s end but I will be trying again tomorrow. I am also asking BH if there was any prior consultation with SAS or Parks.

        I did mention that the geese certainly have been on both agencies’ radar over the years, at least because of incidents such as this. – TR

        • Venus7 September 11, 2016 (12:51 pm)

          Perhaps you could investigate a little further to see if you need to.

          Thank goodness they are safe now.

  • Jeannie September 11, 2016 (3:25 pm)

    Cool article about BaaHaus from 2014.


    The way a few commenters are reacting, one would think the BaaHaus people are eco-terrorists. Sheesh! They’re good people who genuinely care about the well-being of our animal friends. I’m glad most commenters are relieved that the geese are in a safe place, away from harassment. Of course we’ll miss seeing them, but we have to consider their welfare.

  • Jeannie September 11, 2016 (8:16 pm)

    By the way, now I remember visiting BaaHaus a few years ago. I think they were having a summer open house. It was a wonderful place where animals in need got the very best care and attention.  

  • Brad September 11, 2016 (9:08 pm)

    The geese are probably better off on Vashon.  For reasons which are without logic, many dog owners don’t believe that leash laws apply to them.  They were bullied daily.

  • Jason September 11, 2016 (10:20 pm)

    I saw a mole and a frog here in my yard on Vashon today, should I bring them over to Lincoln Park to even things out?  

  • D-Mom September 11, 2016 (10:32 pm)

    Boy there sure is a lot of hate of dog owners here. I’m at the park 3 or 4 days a week and can count on one hand the number of offleash dogs I’ve seen near the beach.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen or there haven’t been attacks on the geese, but let’s not blame this entire situation on dog owners. What I have seen several times is adults harassing the geese or allowing their children to do so.  I will so miss the geese. I wish we’d had a chance to say goodbye to them. But I am glad they are safe. 

  • JanS September 11, 2016 (11:24 pm)


    better watch that mole  ;-)   maybe *it* will need relocating

  • Julia September 12, 2016 (12:58 am)

    Having spent way too much time thinking about this, I believe the troubling part is that they were “our” geese and it’s unsettling to have them arbitrarily removed, without having a chance to say farewell. (I know that sounds silly.) I wasn’t that involved, but did spend some time trying to protect the little family when they kept crossing Fauntleroy. 

    • Sunuva September 12, 2016 (7:30 am)

      I understand that feeling. I would like to have known this was going to happen so I could take my daughter down there to say goodbye. It would have also been a wonderful teaching moment to tell her about how good people care for and protect wildlife and that’s why they have to be moved. I think a lot of us in the community would have felt happy to be a part of their relocation so we could all be heroes, and yes, to just get to say goodbye.

  • sam-c September 12, 2016 (8:36 am)

    I am surprised so many people are upset about the geese being relocated.  It sounds like it is for the best. I will miss them too.  :(

    However, last time I was at Lincoln Park, it seems like 99% of the people there were looking for Pokemon, rather than enjoying the wildlife and amazing scenery (the sunset was beautiful that evening)  Now the geese are safe from dogs, and people staring at their phones while they bike or walk around.

  • Sunuva September 12, 2016 (8:55 am)

    I’m pretty sure most everyone wants the geese to be happy and healthy in a safe place, so when you say that people are upset that they got relocated, you are misunderstanding what most people were upset about. I, personally, was upset that they were taken without any apparent coordination with our community services that would be expected and it would’ve been nice to reach out to the community prior to taking them since they are well-recognized inhabitants of a popular park in our community. I’m happy they are in a safe place but didn’t like how it was handled at all.

  • sam-c September 12, 2016 (9:35 am)

    No, you are right. my comment wasn’t clear.  Maybe I was just surprised by the # of comments.  But, I totally agree with your comment yesterday at 8:58 AM.  It would have been nice to know about it ahead of time/ see them off.

    • Sunuva September 12, 2016 (10:45 am)

      Ah, okay. A re-read of your comment makes sense in that way too. I’m maybe too defensive because of some of the other comments above. I think we all want for the geese to be safe and will miss them.

  • Ms_F September 12, 2016 (11:15 am)

    I just don’t like how this was handled.  Obviously the people who have taken the time  to comment on this subject, clearly have the best interest of the geese in mind.  This caring  community would have rallied around the geese  to come to the best possible solution.    Maybe this sanctuary (which I’ve never heard of)  is the best solution… I don’t know.   I feel a bit guilty I didn’t do what I could to suggest  round-the-clock volunteers to protect the baby geese, which I  had hoped would happen.  ( I was part of the volunteers who protected the Canadian geese in Seattle  parks around 2000, when the city was gassing them.)  Anyways thanks to all who truly care.

  • Tiffany September 12, 2016 (11:49 am)

    At least half of these comments are incorrect, as well as the article.

    These “white geese” are dumped domestic embden geese. No one needed any permission to move them to safety. If some man near the dock owned them, he was negligent in letting them wander free where the goslings were killed and the male goose taken or killed. One of the geese did not “fly in.” Dumped domestic embden geese do not fly. They do not migrate. They do not belong in parks. They were someone’s hand-raised pets and they were dumped there. I don’t care if you liked looking at them. They’re not lawn ornaments for your amusement. Dumping them was a crime and could have resulted in animal cruelty charges. Dumped domestic geese interfere with wild populations by inter-breeding, creating more half-wild geese that can’t follow their migrating parents and are left to find food on their own. Domestic geese require food support. Bread is terrible for geese and ducks. They – especially the goslings – can end up with splay leg, impacted crops or other metabolic bone disorders from lack of proper nutrition. Throughout the years several rescues have responded to calls for help with these dumped domestic geese. And the rescues are met with threats by local residents. THREATS! You’re threatening rescue groups and sanctuaries. That is ridiculous and will be prosecuted if you are found. Do not threaten the volunteers who – on their own time and at their own expense – made sure the remaining goose and gosling were finally safe. 

    To those of you who are hurt that you didn’t receive notice that the geese would be moved, what planet are you on? The universe does not revolve around you. Volunteers are somehow supposed to magically know who cares about these dumped geese v. who chases them with bats and runs them over and somehow NOTIFY you? How? 

    I don’t even know how to respond to that. I’m so grateful for volunteers who drop everything and ensure dumped animals are safe, and for sanctuaries who step up to make a difference while everyone else just stands around and whines about how they would have done it differently.

    • WSB September 12, 2016 (12:28 pm)

      Hi, Tiffany. Thanks for your comment, but there’s nothing “incorrect” in our report. The sources of our information are (a) having seen and written about these birds (and their ancestors, if that’s the correct term) for years, (b) hearing from witnesses to the removal on Friday, and (c) speaking with a Baa Haus rep by phone on Friday night. They offered to answer followup questions by e-mail, and I sent those yesterday, but haven’t yet received a reply – I imagine they are extremely busy with the animals for whom they care.

      Regarding the characterization of the geese as “dumped,” the Baa Haus rep indicated they didn’t have much background on them, so I can understand why they used that term, but it really is an unusual situation – white geese (sorry for not using the proper breed name) have been in and around Lincoln and Cove Parks for at least 15 years. They were not recent arrivals/dumpees. (I also have been contacted by someone who says he was the original person to bring the birds to the area and hope to speak with him for our followup – might help with some context.) – Tracy

      • Tiffany September 12, 2016 (2:17 pm)

        Tracy – Domestic embden geese don’t fly. There is no way for them to get to the park unless they were dumped there. It’s not magic. They don’t walk out of a farm feed store and walk to a park. They were dumped there. They may have been dumped years ago, but they were dumped. 

        Also, the idea that there’s some “proper authority” to go through in removing dumped domestic geese from any park is incorrect. There is no “authority” that cares about dumped domestic geese. Do call around and see for yourself though – I’ll wait. 

    • Sunuva September 12, 2016 (1:22 pm)

      Tiffany, you either completely misunderstood previous points about letting the community know and also working with the proper local community services such as animal control and park services, or you are purposefully twisting those points. The insult about thinking the world revolves around someone also was not necessary. These people took the matter into their own hands when there are other local agencies that could have handled this more appropriately. It sure would have caused a lot less fuss, if any, had it been handled better.

      • Tiffany September 12, 2016 (2:09 pm)

        Sunuva –

        Two volunteers heard two goslings were dead and an adult dumped domestic goose was missing/gone. A third gosling and remaining adult goose were in danger. Those two volunteers – on their own time and expense – rushed to save the gosling and remaining goose and ensure their safety.

        Everything about “how it could have been handled differently” is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. I see two volunteers who saved that gosling and about many uppity residents, who did nothing to keep them safe, who are more concerned about their own feelings than the safety of the geese.

        The article Tracy wrote is focused on some imaginary drama that did not occur. No one stole the geese. Dumped geese in danger were saved from harm. Geese cannot “belong” to a public park. If any of you would LIKE geese, check your local ordinances to see if they are allowed in your personal fenced yard, learn about what they need to live healthy, safe lives and then give me a call. 

        • chemist September 12, 2016 (3:26 pm)

          I like domestic fowl (including geese) and can keep 8 on my residential lot in Seattle, provided I keep no roosters and keep a 10 ft setback on the coop.


          • DH September 12, 2016 (8:38 pm)

            Glad you like domestic fowl, please be sure to adopt not shop.  There are lots of geese, ducks, chickens, etc. waiting for a forever home in our area.  Check out Petfinder.com or Petango.com People get the “urban farming” craze and get in over their heads, then they dump, abandon, or surrender the birds who end up needing new forever homes.

            Also, there’s a lot more to know about domestic fowl than what’s in the Seattle Municipal Code – did you know you need to provide a predator proof pen or aviary?  You also need an avian vet – their specialists and harder to find and cost more than a regular vet.  Also, most domestic fowl are social and would like to have a buddy, so its best to keep more than one.  People considering having a flock should do a lot of research, not just review the Seattle Municipal Code.

        • Ms_F September 12, 2016 (7:29 pm)

          Those geese have been in the park for more than a dozen years (that I know of personally).  No goose was recently dumped.  How could a nearby sanctuary never have known about the geese previously?  It’s all very curious.   As their web site states:  “BaaHaus works cooperatively with other local humane organizations for the benefit of animals in danger or distress.”  It’s just strange that was not done in this case.

        • wb September 14, 2016 (12:26 pm)

          Nailed it, thanks Tiffany.

  • Brian September 12, 2016 (2:26 pm)

    You guys should expend this much emotional energy caring about human beings and see how it goes. Christ almighty.    

  • DH September 12, 2016 (8:29 pm)

    This is ridiculous.   Regardless of how long the geese had been in Lincoln Park they were domestic geese that should never have been in a park.  Someone who should have been taking care of them instead abandoned them in the park – leaving them exposed to cruel people, dogs, cars, raccoons, etc. – an act of animal cruelty.  Whomever dumped the geese should be facing jail time.  In addition to the danger to the geese themselves, the geese posed a danger to the wild Canadian geese in the park (interbreeding with wild geese weakens the wild genes and produces offspring that cannot migrate), and to the plants found in the park (over grazing, etc.)

    Sadly, with the urban farming craze, Lincoln Park is not the only park with dumped domestic animals.  Rabbits are recovered from Discovery Park or around Greenlake all the time.  Chickens and geese have also been rounded up in Magnuson Park.  All of these round ups were done by concerned citizens – some acting on their own (ex: I was picnicking in the park and this bunny just came up to me), others working in groups when they saw an animal in distress.  Sometimes those animals make it to Seattle Animal Control, but more often than not, the rescuer keeps them, or finds a more appropriate placement such as Baa Haus for the animal.

    As described by WSB and the comments, Seattle Animal Control has been out to Lincoln Park numerous times to follow up on dog bite and harassment reports for these geese over the years. Seattle Parks Department doesn’t have resources to deal with animals that shouldn’t be in the parks – they simply report the problem to Seattle Animal Control.   The simple truth is that none of the “authorities” has the resources or cares to deal with dumped domestic animals in parks. I applaud the individuals who saw a problem, found an easy way to fix it, and acted.  If more of our society did that our city and world would be a better place.  Kudos to them!

    If you care about the geese, please donate to Baa Haus to support their care.  The geese will be getting a full check up by a vet and will need good nutritious food for as long as they live.  Baa Haus is a small operation, most of their time is spent caring for the animals.  The majority of their rescues have faced some pretty terrible people and situations in the past, so the rescue is not open to the public (which makes sense, they are a rescue, not a petting zoo!)  Their website is not very up to date, but they do have a Facebook page.

  • Sunuva September 13, 2016 (7:03 am)

    Insulting people, calling their concerns ridiculous, condescending lecturing and shouting down people, etc is NOT helping your cause. I get it. Believe, me.. I GET it; The health and safety of the geese is the most important thing and some of you are very passionate about it. I have learned  a lot about geese by reading this thread, but I’ll admit I usually learn better without being insulted in the process! I’m trying really hard not to let these rude Baahaus supporters not give me a bad impression of what should be a respectable cause.

    If Baahaus really deserves my support, then I would appreciate it if they and their vocal supporters could attempt for a second to understand why many in the community got so upset about how this was done. You don’t have to agree with it. However, it would probably be good for Baahaus at the very least so they don’t cause such an uproar in the future in another community.

    It DOES matter how long those geese have been there because it has provided a long time for the community to form bonds with the geese. It was a shock when people with no apparent local agency affiliation suddenly snatched them when they have been there for 12 to 16 years by some people’s recollection. Would it really hurt Baahaus and their supporters to acknowledge that they could have handled this in a more professional way and be more sensitive to how people might react to their actions? It would certainly win more support than insults and condescension.

  • Rick in the Park September 13, 2016 (8:03 am)

    I have news for you Tiffany, Those geese do indeed fly, and do it very well! They were not “dumped” in the park. The mama goose was hatched there right by the ferry dock and hand raised, years ago.  Insulting Tracy’s research and the many people who care about them is totally  unnecessary, in addition to your facts being wrong. Do you think that the squirrels and raccoons and eagles and owls and coyotes should be rescued next?

  • ally September 13, 2016 (8:07 am)

    The geese are safe now so I think it’s time for everyone to MOVE ON!!!! 

  • Ms_F September 13, 2016 (9:27 am)

    Well said by Sunuva and Rick above. Some of the supporters of  Baahaus are very insensitive and condescending. Did it ever occur to them that people have formed bonds with these creatures over many years, and just MIGHT be mourning a loss?  It doesn’t mean we don’t want the geese to be safe and happy.  Do you tell your friends Ally  to “move on” when a beloved pet has died?   The insensitivity here is somewhat mind boggling.   (By the way Tiffany,  I’ve seen the geese fly, and isn’t molting season before summer, not afterwards?)

  • ally September 13, 2016 (3:19 pm)

    Ms F…No I do not tell my family and friends to move on if a pet has passed away, I guess I should had been more clear on what I meant by that comment…I meant it’s time for everyone to move on and quit belittling everyones feeling on this matter and by suggesting they’re right and they’re wrong.

    No one is right or wrong, we all miss the geese but I am sure we are all happy they are safe now.

  • Ms_F September 14, 2016 (1:11 pm)

    One more comment, and then I will move on:  has anyone thought about what would happen if the male goose returned looking for his mate and/or gosling?  There have been many times over the years when one of the geese wouldn’t be around for an extended period of time, then returned.  I’m just wondering if anyone (including BaaHaus) considered that.

    • WSB September 14, 2016 (1:32 pm)

      Interesting question. I did speak yesterday to the man who originally brought the geese/their predecessors to the area and it’s an interesting story regardless of whether you believe they belong in the park or not … I will be including it in a followup (along with info from Parks and an update from Baa Haus) as soon as I can get a spare hour to write it. – TR

  • Ms_F September 14, 2016 (3:59 pm)

    Thanks for all your fair and comprehensive coverage of this (well, and all things West Seattle!)

  • Matt September 15, 2016 (11:40 pm)

    The curse of the kidnapped geese has begun:


    Return them, Vashonistas … or your crab and shrimp are next.

Sorry, comment time is over.