Goose waits outside wildlife center as mate undergoes foot surgery

Wild goose taps window while anxiously waiting outside wildlife center for injured mate to have foot surgery

  • On Tuesday, staff members at the Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts noticed that a goose named ‘Arnold’ who lives near the facility had a limp 
  • They were able to catch him and bring him in for an exam and the veterinarian team discovered he had two open-fractures on his foot 
  • As Arnold was being prepped for surgery his mate showed up to see him off for the operation, tapping at the glass door with her beak trying to get in 
  • Arnold made it through surgery and his injured foot is expected to heal over time, in the meantime he is recovering near his loyal pal
  • ‘We decided to let him recover by the doorway so that he could see his mate,’ the center posted. 

A Canada goose undergoing foot surgery got an unexpected visitor – his longtime mate – who stopped in to make sure he was alright. 

On Tuesday, staff members at the Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts noticed that a goose named ‘Arnold’, who lives on a pond near the facility, had developed a limp and kept falling over. 

They were able to catch and examine him, and the veterinarian team discovered he had two open-fractures on his foot. The tissue and skin had pulled away leaving the bone exposed. 

‘Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming,’ the center wrote on Facebook. 

Arnold the goose underwent surgery for an injured foot that the Cape Wildlife Center on Wednesday

Arnold’s mate stood watch as he underwent surgery, loyally standing by through the procedure

Staff decided that in order to save the foot and give Arnold a chance at survival, they had to amputate one of the digits and suture the other wound closed. They gave the goose antibiotics and pain medications to prepare him for surgery the next morning.  

But that day, as Arnold was about to be sedated, his mate showed up to see him before the operation, tapping at the glass door with her beak, trying to get in to see her friend.

‘Today, as we prepared to sedate Arnold and get him ready for surgery, we heard a faint tapping at the clinic door,’ the center posted Wednesday. ‘We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic! She had somehow located him and was agitated that she could not get inside. She remained there throughout the entire procedure, watching us work, never moving from the doorway.’

Arnold made it through surgery and his injured foot is expected to heal over time, in the meantime he is recovering near his loyal pal. 

Canada geese mate for life. If one of a pair dies, the surviving goose will mourn and may eventually find another mate. 

Arnold will need to remain indoors for the majority of his recovery to keep his wound sterile and prevent infection, but the center will accommodate him so that he can stay close to his mate

The veterinarian team discovered Arnold had two open-fractures on his foot, and that the tissue and skin was pulled away leaving the bone exposed

‘We decided to let him recover by the doorway so that he could see his mate,’ the center posted. ‘We opened the door and gave Arnold his flow-by oxygen in the doorway. His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door. They both seemed much more at ease in each other’s presence.’

According to the clinic, Arnold still has weeks before he is fully recovered and can join his friend in the wild.  

He will need to remain indoors for the majority of his recovery to keep his wound sterile and prevent infection. But the center will try to accommodate him and his friend.   

‘We will do our best to get him back out quickly and will perform bandage changes and treatments in view of the doorway when possible so that his mate can check up on him,’ the center said. 

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