Widowed goose seeking dead mate tugs at heartstrings of Toronto shoppers

Click to play video: 'Heartbroken Canadian goose continues to return to scene where mate was killed'
Heartbroken Canadian goose continues to return to scene where mate was killed
WATCH: Heartbroken Canadian goose continues to return to scene where mate was killed – Jun 9, 2022

It’s a sad sight that’s tugging at the heartstrings of many who visit the CF Shops at Don Mills– a lonely Canada goose searching for its mate, week after week.

“It’s very sad. You can tell he misses his wife and he’s wandering around looking, wondering,” explains shopper Colin Tobias who has noticed the lone bird frequenting the area for the past several weeks.

Staff at the nearby LCBO nearby say they goose’s mate was struck by a car and killed.

“He lost his own partner and for that he is depressed and sad. I cried actually,” adds Sayad Rasulnezhad, a cleaner at the LCBO.

A wildlife expert says geese mate for life and it’s believed, due to its size, the lonely bird is male but it’s hard to tell by just looking at it because Canadian geese are not sexually dimorphic.

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“It goes to show how deep their emotions can be and how deeply close and attached to each other they can be and I think that’s something people overlook,” explains Leah Birmingham, medical director at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre located in Napanee Ont.

Birmingham suggests the bird may be returning because it doesn’t know its mate is gone, or there could be a nest located nearby it is defending, or it’s simply staying nearby due to the time of year.  

“It would be a difficult time of the year for him to amalgamate with others, with a flock, to be part of a family because they would be very aggressive towards him and not necessarily wanting him near their young at this point. So it might be difficult for him to find a safe place to go,” she said.

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“There’s a multitude of reasons why he might be coming back to that location even though it may seem bizarre to us humans.”

Birmingham says the best thing to do is leave the widowed bird alone – it will eventually sort itself out and determine when to leave the location.

For shoppers though, the bird’s plight shows that humans and animals are more alike than some might think.

“Women can get along without men but men can’t get along without women,” chuckled Tobias. “You need to find a soulmate and I think you know humans take a look at wildlife and they look at some of the animals that mate for life and it puts stuff into context for us.”

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