A goose who underwent surgery in Massachusetts last week was joined during his medical procedure by his mate – who tried to break into a clinic to comfort her beloved.
The Cape Wildlife Center a branch of New England Wildlife Centers in Barnstable, Massachusetts, shared on Facebook that a Canada goose, who employees have named “Arnold,” lives on a pond near its facility with his years-long mate, “Amelia.”
But employees noticed last week that Arnold “had developed a significant limp and was continuously falling over.”
“Upon exam our veterinary team found that he had two open-fractures on his foot. This means that the tissue and skin has been pulled away leaving the bone exposed. Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming,” the wildlife center explained on Facebook, noting that they had to suture a wound closed and more to “give him a chance at survival.”
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However, before the wildlife center sedated the bird for surgery, they “heard a faint tapping at the clinic door.”
“We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic!” the center shared. “She had somehow located him and was agitated that she could not get inside.”
“She remained there throughout the entire procedure, watching us work, never moving from the doorway,” it added.
Thankfully, Arnold’s surgery was a success. The wildlife center said it allowed him to recover near a doorway so that he could see Amelia, and she could groom him.
“They both seemed much more at ease in each other's presence,” the wildlife center posted, noting that they usually do not allow visitors for animals but “in this case we had to make an exception!”
Arnold is expected to recover over several weeks before he can join Amelia in the wild, but the wildlife center vowed to care for the bird within sight of his mate.
The wildlife center posted photos of the birds together, with Amelia appearing to watch Arnold closely. The center also shared a video of the pair on Tuesday eating a meal together.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Goose shocks MA wildlife center after standing by mate through surgery