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A lady goose named Amelia tried to “break into” a clinic to be close to her injured “honk” Arnold as he was undergoing surgery.
Staff at the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts on Cape Cod were shocked to see the mate of a Canada goose they were treating for open fractures show up at their door, as captured in charming Newsflare video footage.
While living together on a pond, Arnold ended up with a tattered foot. Zak Mertz, executive director of the center that is run by New England Wildlife Centers, told the Cape Cod Times that Arnold would continually stumble and fall over, so the team gave him an exam.
“Upon exam our veterinary team found that he had two open-fractures on his foot,” the wildlife center explained on Facebook. “This means that the tissue and skin has been pulled away leaving the bone exposed. Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming.”
Staff found he had two open fractures on his foot and scheduled him for surgery the next morning. The injuries were serious enough that he could have lost his leg — or his life.
But as they readied Arnold for surgery, they heard a tap on the clinic door. It was his mate, whom they named Amelia.
“We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic,” said a rep for the non-profit. She had somehow located him and was agitated that she could not get inside.”
According to Mertz, Amelia’s behavior was “pretty shocking” since geese typically want very little to do with humans.
Arnold’s surgery was successful, but to wear off the anesthesia, staff needed to provide oxygen while the patient woke up. Amelia was loudly honking while staff surrounded him and gave him oxygen. However, staff let Arnold recover on the ground and get his oxygen there, leading the geese to calm down.
“The mate actually stuck her neck in and began to preen him and take care of him — and it was just the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen,” Mertz said.
After his surgery, Arnold shared a meal — and hiss at annoying humans — with his mate by the patio door. Arnold, though, may need to stay inside the facility for a few weeks as he continues to recover. But the team will try to give them as much exposure to one another as possible to keep stress low and love high.
“Arnold continues to make progress. His wounds are healing, and he is finally up waddling,” the wildlife center shared on Facebook on July 23. “Our veterinary team outfitted the injured foot with a waterproof boot to provide him with some extra protection. He is doing so well that Dr. Patel approved some outdoor time in a small playpen. Amelia was close by and made her way in. They spent an hour together before Arnold had to return for afternoon treatments.”
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