A few weeks ago I wrote about the heartbreaking state our resident marina gander, Peter. He was in deep mourning for his longtime mate Paul.
The crew in the marina and shipyard decided something needed to be done, and new geese were acquired in a mission that included the children, who trekked to a farm well outside Sydney to find him new friends. The mission was for three but somehow, four came back. All were promptly named by the kids, of course.
It was decided that they should be held in a pen at the shipyard for a week to ensure they associated the location with food (e.g.- “home”) and wouldn’t take off once released.
To ease the situation for Peter, one goose at a time would be released over a period of several days- giving him time to adjust. The geese- or more accurately, ganders, as they are all male- are less than a year old but full size. They were patient with the marina pen. The first to come out was George.
Things went pretty well- Peter mostly ignored him, but they stayed together. Ben was next.
He and George hit it off, but Peter continued his obsessive post-Paul behavior of talking to his reflection and wasn’t terribly sociable.
There was a little bit of drama when Jerry escaped when the geese remaining in the pen were being fed. He doesn’t swim very well, and took off without a backward glance at the marina. It took some chasing and coaxing but eventually he was returned to the shipyard.
They’re doing OK now. Peter was truly unpleasant to Ben (or maybe it was Jerry… I can’t tell them apart!) in the beginning, but has backed off. Trying to assert his dominance, maybe? His alpha-gander status? Any Goose Psychologists out there? For now, they seem to be have a group identity.