4-hour rescue ends happily for injured Galloway goose (VIDEO)

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Galloway resident Gary Price with Wildlife Aid volunteers Mary Lenahan and Marylee Morinelli and the rescued goose./ Photo by Courtney Crowe Galloway resident Gary Price with Wildlife Aid volunteers Mary Lenahan and Marylee Morinelli with the rescued goose./ Photo by Courtney Crowe

An injured arctic snow goose brought many people together Sunday, Jan. 5 at the Carriage House in Galloway.

The lone male goose had been hanging around the retention pond at the Carriage House for several weeks, and had many residents concerned. People fed the bird and left hay for him, but with looming bad weather approaching the calls continued to pour in to Wildlife Aid of Egg Harbor Township, a group of licensed wildlife rehabilitators and volunteers who help injured and orphaned wildlife.

Thomas Crowe of Galloway said he had been feeding the goose for three weeks and felt awful that it was out in the cold alone. The goose was in no imminent danger because it had food and a place to seek shelter off the pond.

“Rescuing a bird in water is nearly impossible, but we decided to give it a go,” said Marylee Morinelli of Mays Landing, a volunteer for Wildlife Aid.

Goose floating in the retention pond at the Carriage House in Galloway prior to his rescue./Photo by Courtney Crowe Goose floating in the retention pond at the Carriage House in Galloway prior to his rescue./Photo by Courtney Crowe Morinelli and another volunteer, Mary Lenahan, tried to corral the goose from the semifrozen pond onto the grass where they could catch it. Since he had been fed by residents, hopefully he would respond well to the rescue efforts. 

Initially, Morinelli headed out in her kayak, inching along the ice with a metal pole to try and steer the bird onto land. But she said the kayak got stuck and the timer on the retention pond fountain went off, soaking her. She was able to dislodge herself and get back to land with the help of her husband, Chris. Subsequent efforts proved futile because the goose jumped over the net or scurried away.

Residents who had been feeding and looking after him began showing up and became part of the rescue effort.

“There were 10 people trying to get him at one point,” Morinelli said.

Gary Price of Galloway, another resident who had been feeding the goose, went into the pond in a wetsuit and helped scoot the goose to an area where Morinelli was able to net it as onlookers cheered.

Crowe's daughter, Courtney, was home on break from Penn State and captured the rescue on video.

It turned out that the goose had a badly broken wing. Wildlife Aid has no federal permit to house or rehabilitate migratory birds, so members transported it to a licensed bird rehabilitator in Cinnaminson.

“Not all rescues end well,” Morinelli noted.

Wildlife Aid operates solely on donations. To volunteer, make a donation, or if you have a possible wildlife rescue situation visit their Facebook page or call 609-927-0538.

Video by Courtney Crowe

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