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Seniors get front-row seat to gosling rescue at retirement home
EDMONTON -- Some Sherwood Park youngins left the nest on Saturday, but not without a little bit of assistance.
Strathcona County Fire Department had to pull out the big ladder to help five goslings stuck on a fifth-storey ledge at the Chartwell Emerald Hills Retirement Residence on Eton Boulevard.
A goose nested in a planter on Lillian Farrow's seventh-floor balcony three to four weeks ago.
Alberta Wildlife advised Farrow to disturb the mother as little as possible.
“She sat on that next hour after hour after hours, keeping those babies warm,” the 80-year-old resident recalled.
Staff member Kimberley Lougheed told CTV News Edmonton Farrow followed the experts' guidance perfectly and didn't even go out on the deck: “She grandmothered them... She was on guard with them, just like a mother would be."
For weeks, Farrow – and the rest of the building – waited patiently.
"When I went to supper, I had, oh, half a dozen people at least asking, are there any babies yet? Are there any babies yet?
"Everybody was curious and just waiting for something to happen.”
Then, on Saturday, the chicks hatched.
Farrow watched for a few hours as the goose retucked any newborn heads that popped out from underneath her wings.
Finally, it was time to take their first flight – but the five siblings landed on a ledge one floor below Farrow's balcony.
“Mom and dad were up on the roof ledge, kind of squawking at them to jump over, but it was just too big for them,” Lougheed recalled.
“I didn’t know how we were going to get them down to the ground,” Farrow added.
Eventually, they called for help.
The firetruck and extended ladder drew residents to windows and the lawn, and passersby to the street.
Farrow, once again allowed on her balcony, watched from above as the firefighter gently scooped the babes into a net.
The fire department commented that "adult geese are normally not really friendly but these two seemed to know what we were doing."
"The male stood silent within 6-8 feet of the (firefighters') position while the female was lying flat with her head in the grass and audibly upset. (Firefighters) initially thought the female may have been injured from a fall."
But, in video of the reunion between parents and kids, the goose quickly jumps up at the chirps of her little ones. She and the gander rush over, checking them over.
“They were all cheering and clapping and a lot of hooting and hollering," Lougheed laughed.
“Mama Goose and Daddy Goose were just as excited to have their children back in their arms, too.”
Before they left, firefighters told Lougheed geese often return to a location to nest again.
Farrow doesn't mind.
"I would do it again."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Dan Grummett