Hospital staff concerned about goose couple living near construction site

Hospital staff concerned about goose couple living near construction site

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A soon to be family of geese have taken residence near Providence Heart Institute.

They have been there for a few months now and the nursing staff have lovingly named the Ozzie and Harriett. But that same staff is worried about the safety of the goslings once they hatch.

There used to be quite a few trees in the area, but most of them have been cleared away for the new hotel. All that's left is a very large rock, which is now the home of Ozzie, Harriett and their baby geese. Kelley Lund is a nurse on the second floor of the Providence Heart Institute. She and her co-workers get to watch Harriett and Ozzie keep watch over their eggs.

"It's very entertaining. In fact in the morning there's a like a changing of the guard where the male will come in and let her stand up and stretch her legs and they have a little conversation of some sort," Lund said.

Lund said she sees Harriett and Ozzie crossing this busy street near the hospital fairly often. She is concerned the goslings will do the same once they hatch.

"We're worried about what's going to happen once they have to find water. How do they get to that water? These little geese traveling down this busy street. There's a blind corner here and it's an accident waiting to happen," she said.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife said there is not much they do with the geese at this time. Officials said safely capturing and relocating adult geese is virtually impossible. 

Wildlife officials said when the goslings hatch the parent birds will escort them to water in the area, often moving at night across roads and traffic. In 2016, at least one resident put herself at personal risk on the busy streets in this area to try to stop traffic as the geese moved, according to officials.  They ended up capturing all the goslings and relocating them without the parent birds. Wildlife officials said it  was not an ideal situation and they don't want to do that again. 

Wildlife officials said they spoke to Lund about the issues and they said she understood and accepted their recommendation. They said Lund agreed to help spread the word in the neighborhood to both avoid harassing the geese and putting anyone at risk to protect them. 

Officials said Canada Geese are extremely resilient and abundant in part because they adapt so well to so many environments. To learn more about Canada Geese, click here.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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