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Kelowna teen fined for raising wild goose

Oliver Klassen, 17, was recently fined by Conservation for possession of a migratory bird he rescued in May. He says the bird chose to stay in his yard but was relocated to the wild where it won't survive.
Image Credit: Facebook
August 01, 2017 - 1:57 PM

KELOWNA – A 17-year-old animal lover from Kelowna says B.C. Conservation Officers confiscated a goose he says he rescued and released — and he doesn't think the goose will survive in the wild. 

Oliver Klassen says his aunt found the gosling in the middle of Highway 97 in May and the two bonded immediately.

“He just followed me around,” he says. “We used to take him to the park and I’d walk around and he’d follow me and look at the water. When he was small we gave him baths in the sink and we’d put grass and things in there for him to eat.”

He named him Elliot and learned everything he could about Canadian geese. But that didn’t stop local Conservation Officers from confiscating Elliot Sunday night and giving Klassen a $230 fine for possession of a migratory bird.

Klassen says the goose was never confined but chose to stay in his yard.

‘When he was small he slept in this big chicken run so raccoons wouldn’t get him. Once he was able to fly he just stayed in the yard. He was free to go whenever he wanted.”

Elliot the goose was released into the wild, against the wishes of the Kelowna teen who rescued him.
Elliot the goose was released into the wild, against the wishes of the Kelowna teen who rescued him.
Image Credit: Facebook

Klassen says because the goose was so young he felt responsible for its care and was planning to take him to a bird sanctuary when he was a little older.

“I researched a ton, the Conservation Officer told my mom he’s an extremely healthy goose,” he says. “He told me Elliot had almost zero survivability chance in the wild.”

That’s why Elliot was so upset when they confiscated him and later released him somewhere in Lake Country. He says he would have preferred the bird go to a sanctuary where Elliot could be taught how to survive first.

“He’s still a juvenile, he’s not even full grown yet,” he says. “(The officer) promised me he would tell me what would happen as soon as he knew but he didn’t.”

According to a B.C. Conservation Officer Service spokesperson, the officer who made the decision is off shift and unavailable for comment.

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