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Pet goose that survived fox attack now internet hero, Moose Jaw mayoral candidate

Pet goose that survived fox attack now internet hero, Moose Jaw mayoral candidate
WATCH: A goose named Steve, who survived a fox attack, is flying high on internet fame. After an outpouring of support, fans are now rallying for Steve to run for Mayor of Moose Jaw. Daniella Ponticelli has the wild tale.

Steve the Goose is making quite the name for himself.

For nine years, the domesticated white goose has been living comfortably on Carla Shymko’s acreage in Moose Jaw, Sask.

“He follows me around the yard, whether I’m mowing on the tractor, he goes up and down the rows or if I’m in the garden, he’s in the garden with me,” Shymko said.

“He’s just great. If I’m sitting on the deck reading, he’ll come and sit beside me and if I go in the house he pecks at the rear window.”

Read more: Saskatoon geese adopting and babysitting around 40 goslings at a time

Shymko’s two youngest children brought the goose and his mate, Lulu, home from a nearby sanctuary. The pair raised goslings together until Lulu passed away four years ago.

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Since then, Steve has been successfully flying solo — even though he can’t actually fly — making friends with bunnies and the family dogs.

Shymko said that’s why his sudden disappearance a month ago was so shocking.

“I woke up in the morning and came out and he was gone,” she said.

“I asked (my sons), ‘have you seen Steve?’ and they said no and I noticed some feathers so we came back here right away.”

Steve the Goose has striking blue eyes, a bright orange bill and a mixture of white and grey feathers
Steve the Goose has striking blue eyes, a bright orange bill and a mixture of white and grey feathers. Daniella Ponticelli / Global News

But Steve was indeed gone. The family took off on ATVs to search the area around their property before Shymko felt she had to go to social media.

“I was kind of nervous putting anything out there because I didn’t want people to think I was crazy looking for a goose,” she said.

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“But within two hours, I had hundreds of people responding and wanting to come out and look for him. It was great, and it was just positive hoping he was okay.”

Carla Shymko says she has a strong bond with Steve, who came to the acreage as a three-month-old gosling
Carla Shymko says she has a strong bond with Steve, who came to the acreage as a three-month-old gosling. Daniella Ponticelli / Global News

The search party grew and continued into the afternoon, until Shymko said she received an email from a friend that indicated a fox had been spotted down the road – carrying a white goose in his mouth.

“We just figured he was gone … we were sad. We were actually quite devastated,” she said, adding hundreds more messages of support came in after she updated everyone online.

“We thought he was gone — until the next morning and Steve was at our back door, pecking, wanting to get in.”

Read more: Manitoba animal lover looking to help mother goose and her goslings

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Against all odds, Steve managed to escape the fox and waddle back home. He was dirty, ruffled with a lot fewer feathers and a little blood on him.

“The vet was going to come out here if he didn’t heal, but he started healing and yeah – he’s great,” Shymko said.

While Steve is still a little nervous in his familiar surroundings, he’s become a star on the internet. His survival story has gone viral, making international headlines and being featured on The Dodo.

“I honestly just think he was such a positive light in such a dark time,” Shymko said, adding she’s received letters from seniors sharing their stories of growing up with geese.

Steve the Goose in his enclosure on Carla Shymko’s acreage, decorated with a mayoral lawn sign, on July 31, 2020
Steve the Goose in his enclosure on Carla Shymko’s acreage, decorated with a mayoral lawn sign, on July 31, 2020. Daniella Ponticelli / Global News

From that attention, a stranger began a social media campaign for Steve the Goose to be the next mayor of Moose Jaw.

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Shymko said she only became involved with the campaign after the original organizer became inundated with messages and media requests.

There’s now Steve the Goose for Mayor merchandise, and Shymko’s daughter created lawn signs.

With a local election looming this fall, it’s important to note — of course — that as a goose, Steve can’t become mayor.

Southern Alberta bird watcher discovers unique bird species among estimated 60,000 snow geese
Southern Alberta bird watcher discovers unique bird species among estimated 60,000 snow geese