Over 1,700 people have joined a Facebook campaign to help a northern B.C. woman reclaim a young goose she raised since it was just a fluffy little gosling.
On Jan. 12, conservation officers seized "Lucy" from Dianne VanderWeil's acreage near Fort St. James, and took the goose to a wildlife sanctuary near Prince George.
"I said there was no way they could take her. I begged and pleaded. They said if I refused to hand over the goose they'd arrest me and they'd still take the goose away," said VanderWeil.
The federal Migratory Birds Convention Act prohibits people from keeping wild birds — including Canada Geese — without a permit.
VanderWiel rescued Lucy from the side of the road two years ago and carried the young gosling back to her farm in the palm of her hand.
"She was just a little tiny ball of fluff. We nursed her back to health," said VanderWeil.
VanderWeil says she put Lucy in a pen with other chicks, not knowing the stray bird was a Canada Goose. Lucy bonded with her chickens and quickly became domesticated.
"She knows her name. She lays down with my dog. She'll fly to the neighbours and come right back home, she's a happy bird," said VanderWeil.
VanderWiel says Lucy has always been free to fly away but showed little interest in geese that migrate through her property.
Now, she worries Lucy is stressed and fears she'll stop eating.
VanderWiel admits, in hindsight she did the wrong thing by picking Lucy off the side of the road and taking her home, but says she didn't know at the time the little ball of yellow fluff was a Canada Goose.