May 22, 2014 4:44 pm

Family of geese safely back in Bow River, after downtown rescue

CALGARY- A feathery family that found itself in a bit of trouble is safely back where it belongs, thanks to a mammoth effort from some concerned Calgarians.

Early Thursday morning, Connie Cooper noticed a family of geese in a downtown parking lot, at 5 Ave. and 5 St. S.W. She became concerned when she realized the family of five weren’t able to cross the street to safety, because the three goslings can’t yet fly.

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“There is lots of traffic in downtown Calgary at lunch, and they were in a parking lot and then on a busy street and its a really hot day,” Cooper said.

“They didn’t have any fresh water or food, and they were pretty terrified.”

As the temperature rose, the family tried to seek shade under a nearby building canopy, and that’s when Cooper called anyone she could think of to help, including 311 and Fish and Wildlife, but no one was willing to escort them to safety.

“We’re the ones that have taken over their space. How can we be in a city with one million people…and there isn’t one person that can help us? It’s disappointing.”

Finally, the Calgary Fire Department agreed to come to the aid of the geese, and taped off the surrounding area. They funneled the group into a nearby stairwell then herded mom and dad into a blue bin, all while the parents hissed at the helpers, trying to protect their young ones.

“They’re pretty terrified,” said Cooper, as the rescue attempt was underway. “I’m sure they’re still not quite happy, but a better ending is in sight, [rather] than them getting hit or separated.”

The goslings were eventually put in a box, and all were loaded into a Calgary Fire Department van.

Finally around 3 p.m., the whole group was brought to the Peace Bridge, and happily swam away down the Bow River.

WATCH: Check out extra footage from the rescue below.

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