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California drought: Flightless geese rescued from dried-up pond

Water-less waterfowl: Flightless geese rescued from dried up pond in Northern California

As an extreme drought tightens its vise grip on Northern California, images of peeling dirt where bodies of water once covered mud have become commonplace. But in the town of Woodland, the drought has sparked a rescue operation.

In the past few weeks, a pond that was once about 200 yards long by 100 yards wide has dried up, leaving roughly two dozen geese stranded. The birds, which don't fly, not only are thirsty but also lack the protection the pond offers from natural predators.

Many believe that the once-domesticated geese were left at the site over the years.

The situation has spurred the community northwest of Sacramento into action. City workers brought in a 700-gallon horse trough to supplement containers of water brought in by residents, Fox 40 reported. Others brought food.

Now, two groups -- Carolina Waterfowl Rescue and Hen Harbor from California -- have agreed to take the geese to a site in Santa Cruz where they will be examined and cared for.

“I’m so excited that it finally, finally happened because for a while we weren’t sure what was going to happen to them,” Katrina Lane told the station.

She and others were among the first residents to mobilize the rescue effort after she witnessed several of the geese stressed and staggering at the dry pond.

“I didn’t do it for the publicity, I did it because they needed help and somebody needed to be there to speak for them and I did whatever I could possibly do,” Lane said.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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