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Saskatoon geese adopting and babysitting around 40 goslings at a time

Many goslings have been seen along the Meewasin Trail in recent weeks. Mandy Vocke / Global News

Saskatoon’s goose community is full of good parents and reliable babysitters.

The Meewasin Trail is packed with goslings right now. Sometimes up to 40 goslings are seen with just two parents, but only a fraction are biologically theirs.

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Like people, geese sometimes need a break from their young ones. Geese drop off their goslings with other parents, who are happy to take them under their wings until the parents return.

The geese are able to distinguish the different chirps and the goslings return to the right set of parents.

Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation executive director Jan Shadick said orphaned goslings brought in can usually be placed with wild families.

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“When we get in baby goslings, we can go and find a goose family, and we don’t find the ones with 40,” Shadick said.

“We usually find the ones that have three, to four to five and we can add some goslings to that family.”

Shadick encourages people to keep their distance from the families for their safety and your safety. Geese can be aggressive, especially when protecting their young.

 

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