BARNSTABLE, MASS. (WHDH) - A goose undergoing emergency surgery at the Cape Wildlife Center on Wednesday got a surprise visit from his concerned mate, who waddled up onto the porch, tapped on the clinic door, and watched the procedure, officials said.
“Today was a first for our hospital. We often have people ask if they can visit the patients they dropped off, but today we had our first animal visitor!” wildlife officials said in a Facebook post. “For the safety of our patients we do not accommodate visitation requests, but in this case we had to make an exception!”
Arnold, a Canadian goose, lives on a pond near the clinic and is said to be part of a mated pair that have been together for several years. He was taken in for surgery after officials noticed that he had developed a significant limp and was continuously falling over due to open fractures on his foot.
“Our best guess is that a snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming,” officials said. “In order to save the foot, and give him a chance at survival, we knew we had to perform surgery to amputate one of the digits and suture the other wound closed.”
During surgery, Arnold’s mate tracked him down, started to peer in at him, and became agitated because she could not get inside to be with him.
“She remained there throughout the entire procedure, watching us work, never moving from the doorway,” officials added.
Arnold’s surgery went well and doctors let him recover by the doorway so he could be next to his mate.
“His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door,” officials explained. “They both seemed much more at ease in each other’s presence.”
Arnold will likely need several weeks of treatment before he can safely return to the wild with his mate.
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