Metro Parks Employee Rescues Geese From Frozen Pond

Metro Parks Employee Rescues Geese From Frozen Pond

CREATED Jan 9, 2014

By Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An employee from Metro Parks and Recreation freed two large white geese from the frozen ice on the lake at Centennial Park Wednesday evening.

Several people called Metro Parks after seeing the birds on an area of Lake Watauga that was covered in ice. 

Early in the day crews responded twice to the pond, but said they were not sure what they could do. They said they didn't have a raft or any equipment to free the birds without causing additional harm.

"We can't put anyone out to try to get them out, we don't have anyone to do that," Tommy Lynch, Metro Parks director, told NewsChannel 5.

Aerial video from Sky 5 HD showed at least two white birds stuck in place and struggling to free themselves. Dozens of more ducks and geese were still moving around in the water. 

The birds caught the attention of many people, who stood on the shoreline to watch and tweet about their plight.

All the attention the two geese were getting, got Metro Parks to thinking, and administrators eventually came up with a rescue plan.

"Our initial response wasn't what we should've done. We kind of were thrown with circumstances that hadn't come our way," Lynch said later in the day.

Around 5 p.m., a Metro Parks employee approached the pond with a kayak. Neel Deshpande slid his way across the ice until he was able to reach the birds and break apart the ice with a mallet. 

Once freed, the first bird was still struggling to move. Deshpande picked up the bird and put it on the kayak before making his way back across the ice to the shore. 

Workers from Walden's Puddle animal rescue took charge of the geese after they were rescued.

"I'd rather take some time and look him over him over carefully, instead of just out here in the dark," said Brian Miller from Walden's Pond.

Miller said it is common for birds to become stuck in the ice on ponds and lakes.

After an initial evaluation, the birds were said to have hypothermia and frozen feathers from being stuck on the ice. They remained under evaluation at Walden's Puddle Thursday, which said the first 48 hours were critical for their care.

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