Vancouver family's annual goose-relocation effort becomes beloved tradition
Published Sunday, May 2, 2021 5:15PM PDT Last Updated Sunday, May 2, 2021 7:25PM PDT
VANCOUVER -- An annual spring routine for the Amanat-Markazi family starts with a hissing goose.
For the last decade, a mother goose has made a nest on the family's terrace near the intersection of Granville Street and West 7th Avenue in Vancouver every spring.
It's a fine place for a nest until the goslings arrive, at which point it becomes a glassed-in cage for the flightless baby waterfowl.
When Sarvenaz Amanat noticed a nest on the terrace for the first time in 2011, she was concerned. She called a wildlife rescue organization for advice.
"They said, 'You're going to have to box up the little baby goslings, take them to the alley below and then wait for the parents to hear them and join you, and then take them to the closest body of water,'" Amanat recalls.
And so, every year, the family carefully boxes up the babies before leading them and their parents on a half-kilometre march through Vancouver's urban landscape.
"We learned how to sort of guide them," Amanat says. "Take them through the alleys to Granville Loop Park, over 4th Avenue, down the street to Granville Island and enter right at the pond at kids market."
Over the years, Amanat's sons Darius and Bijan have grown quite adept at goose-herding.
"The first time, it was scary," Amanat says. "The geese get quite stressed … This time, they didn't spread their wings. They don't honk. They don't squawk."
"It really has become sort of a yearly routine, something we look forward to in the spring," adds Darius Amanat-Markazi.
The family's not sure if it's the same mother goose who keeps coming back year after year, nor are they sure why she does it. But, each year, when she returns, the family knows what to do.
"We're happy to help these geese and we care for them and we don't want anything bad to happen to them," Amanat says.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim