Local Community Divided Over Fate Of Canadian Goose, Known As Gooseberry

Tiani Jadulang

One local community is sharply divided over the fate of a Canadian goose known around the community of Lake Mirage Racket Club, as Gooseberry.

The bird was an almost constant presence, but now that the bird’s gone, this leaves some residents wondering, meanwhile others are thrilled.

“Since she’s been gone. The magic is gone from here. It made a difference that we didn’t even realize until she wasn’t here.” Patti Mastrangelo, who the Lake Mirage community calls the “foster mom” says.

Residents at the Lake Mirage Racquet Club are deeply saddened by the loss of one of their most sought out community members, not a resident but a special member in their eyes. Gooseberry, a Canadian goose.

“July 10. She was taken.” Mastrangelo says.

It wasn’t until Gooseberry had laid eggs and the community found her nest destroyed, that issues involving the goose had started.

“People couldn’t go out on the patio. She was looking for her eggs trying to get in the house. She was going crazy. So that’s when this lady decided, I think she had planned this with a nest. So she had an excuse to get rid of her.” Mastrangelo says.

Neighbors say Gooseberry was a well liked member of their community, which they involved in their everyday activities.

“It’s gone from this heart warming story to this heartbreaking story because of this small malignant group of homeowners that have decided they don’t want all the wildlife there. They don’t want this goose walking around.” Kele Younger, the founder of the Wild California at the Magic Jungle Wildlife Preserve tells me.

Younger believes Gooseberry was taken from the community by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, for not having the required permits needed as a non native species.

“I reached out to the Department of Fish and Wildlife because I work with them very closely and with us…. and I was able to ascertain the fact that she was transported from there to a quote permitted facility as of now.”

With Gooseberry safe and in a permitted facility, Younger is doing her best to find a resolution for all.

“I don’t know if that could be here forever home. That’s why I’m trying to work out whatever little bit I can do to help this animal and to help the community and to bring about a resolution that’ll work.”

We did speak with several members of the Homeowners Association at Lake Mirage who point out Gooseberry was becoming aggressive towards residents during mating season, which in turn, caused the California Department of Fish and Game to get involved. In a statement, the state pointed out that Canadian geese are federally protected and that Gooseberry was being kept at Lake Mirage illegally.

They confirmed the goose has been relocated to a facility that is equipped to handle the bird’s care.

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