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.