Geese fight for survival as drought dries up their home

WOODLAND - A small flock of domestic geese is fighting for survival in an old retention basin along Interstate 5 north of Woodland.

Three years of drought have left the geese clustered around a small bog of drying mud on the south side of the basin, put in when Interstate 5 was being built in the early 1970s.

"They're gonna be dead. It's what, 105 today?" Katrina Lane said as she watched 26 geese clustered around the pond on Thursday evening.

Lane and her daughter Jayme have been worried about the geese. When they arrived to check on them Thursday night realized the last of the water is now gone. Lane said the City of Woodland had promised to bring a water trough out to help.

"It was supposed to be here by 6:30 tonight and it's now what, 7:15, 7:30. There's still no water," Lane worried.

Zamora farmer Frank Sieferman has driven by the geese for years and believes it's time for them to find a better home.

"Well, I'd like to see these geese relocated to other farm ponds where there are people that have livestock of their own," Sieferman said.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Dan Skalos said the domesticated geese cannot fly and were almost certainly left there by someone years ago. He cautions they could have a hard time finding a new habitat on their own before predators move in.

"The local coyotes might manage to find them it could be dinner for them and kind of the end of the geese," Skalos said.

Katrina and her daughter Jamie decided to take things into their own hands, and headed to a local store, soon returning with 26 gallons of water and plastic containers to place around the edge of the mud.

"Hopefully it'll do 'em for a couple of days until either we can find a home for them, or the city decides to do something about this," Lane said.

Lane knows it's not a long-term answer, but hopes it'll buy the geese enough time.

"They've been here a long time and to leave 'em out here to die is just wrong," she said.


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