Wild goose chase over as Mrs Pink waddles back in
HE thought his favourite pet goose was a goner, but instead Roger Osbourne was delighted to hear the high-pitched honking of his friend once more.
Roger was upset when the injured bird was washed away after fleeing from his garden into the River Exe and feared that in the wild she would fall prey to a wily fox.
Roger cares for many animals at his home by Stoodleigh bridge, but is particularly fond of his flock of a dozen geese.
Chief among them was the bird known as Mrs Pink, so called as she was one of a pair of pink-footed geese in his wildlife haven.
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The last Roger saw of Mrs Pink was when she became trapped on an island in the fast-flowing river as darkness fell, last Monday.
Yet the following day, the goose was back as if nothing had happened.
Roger said: "I thought she was gone for good. The river was high and fast-moving and it amazed me she made it across the river and found her way back in the dark."
Roger said the goose had initially been scared by an unfamiliar visitor to his home and had shot out of the garden and into the river.
Roger said: "Over the years I have lost a lot of geese to foxes, so when she went missing I feared she would face the same fate."
The goose's exploits were even more remarkable because she only has one and a half wings as a long-standing injury meant she had mobility problems.
Roger has had the goose for around seven years, and estimates that she is around 10 years old.
"I was amazed she made it back," he said. "I think it must have been something like a 1,000-1 chance of her surviving,"
Roger said it had "really cheered him up" when he saw the goose the next day.
"I found her on the doorstep of the pen where the geese are kept the next morning, waiting to be let back in as if nothing had happened.
"In the news, there are so many sad stories everyday, but it is nice to think about the happy stories in nature and to think how amazing animals are with their innate sense of direction."
Pink-footed geese are known for producing a medley of high-pitched honking noises and Roger said Mrs Pink was no different. "She likes to make a lot of noise, but I don't mind, the geese are my friends and company."