Fermilab employees rescue gosling from fishing line

FESS employees Jim Kalina, Steve Whiteaker and Mike Pfaff helped free a gosling from the fishing line that cut off circulation to its leg. Photo: Bob Lootens

Fish hooks are for catching fish, not geese. But last week, a young goose got a hook through its foot and a fishing line tied around its leg.

Fermilab employees rescued the frantic gosling from the east Reflection Pond near Wilson Hall on June 9.

“His little heart was pounding pretty hard, he was definitely scared,” said Jim Kalina, FESS employee.

The line had wrapped several times around the gosling’s leg and had cinched so tightly that it cut off circulation to its foot. FESS employees Steve Whiteaker and Mike Pfaff used sharp knives to gently cut the tangled line. About 10 minutes later, they set the gosling free at Swan Lake near the high rise.

“We put him on the grass and he got up and ran, but we could see his one leg was still very sensitive,” Kalina said.

Recently, Kalina spotted the goose near the high rise and it appears to be doing OK.

This incident serves as a reminder to everyone to clean up after using Fermilab’s grounds for recreational activities.

“The biggest thing is when you’re a fisherman and you’ve got a line to toss, don’t leave it laying on the shoreline,” Kalina said.

Employees, users and visitors can participate in helping keep our site clean at the 3rd Thursday lunchtime cleanup.

The next opportunity to help out is Thursday, June 23. A light lunch is provided to volunteers. Contact Jeannette Olah via email or at x3303 for more information or to sign up.

“We need the help of volunteers,” Kalina said. “Thanks to all those that come– it’s really a great help.”

— Christine Herman

FESS employee Steve Whiteaker holds the gosling that he helped set free from a fishing line that had entangled its leg. Photo: Bob Lootens