A wandering domesticated goose that has been a frequent visitor on Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs lately has been rescued and placed in a new home — at least for the time being — with Island naturalist Augustus (Gus) Ben David 2nd at his World of Reptiles and Bird Park in Edgartown.
The goose, now confirmed as a two-year-old male Toulouse, was likely raised on a farm or domestic setting, as evidenced by its docile and amicable disposition. But the goose, who remains both unnamed and unclaimed by its owner, somehow turned up in downtown Oak Bluffs, waddling around side by side with tourists in flip flops and a steady stream of automobiles and pedicabs, not unlike a scene out of Make Way for Ducklings, the classic children’s book by Robert McCloskey.
And like the mother duck in the book, the Toulouse appeared to happily adapt to its new surroundings, walking along the sidewalks with pedestrians and using the crosswalks when necessary, posing for the occasional picture.
The goose split its time between Circuit avenue, Ocean Park and Sunset Lake across from Our Market.
Over a dozen people encountered the goose and called Mr. Ben David, the Island’s resident wildlife expert and rescuer of lost or injured birds. Mr. Ben David went looking for the goose, but was unable to locate it until late Tuesday night, when he received a curious knock at his door.
He said he was already in bed when the late-night visitors came.
“I heard this knock, knock, knock on my door and I thought . . . who could this be at this hour?” he said.
When he opened the door he was greeted by two young women, Carla Coburn and Kim Duarte, who said they were driving along the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road near Carroll’s Moving and Trucking when they spotted two young men in a white Toyota Camry leave a goose on the side of the road.
They pulled over to check things out, and when they opened the door the goose hopped into the back seat of the car. “He wasn’t shy . . . he wanted to get off the road,” Mr. Ben David said.
Finding themselves suddenly in possession of an orphaned goose, the girls drove to the home of Mr. Ben David, who is a friend, and handed over the bird.
As of yesterday, the goose was still settling into its new surroundings at Mr. Ben David’s bird park.
“He’s fine, he’s fine,” Mr. Ben David said. “He is perfectly healthy . . . maybe just a little confused.”
Although he is happy to take care of the goose for now, it is not certain he can stay there permanently. With its placid disposition, the Toulouse generally doesn’t thrive in flocks of mixed breeds. This may cause distress for the Toulouse, Mr. Ben David explained.
As a result, he is working to find the goose a permanent home.
“He’s a real nice goose, so if anyone is missing a beautiful goose, or wants one, they should give me a call,” he said.
Mr. Ben David can be reached at 508-627-5634.