Goose, Highland bull together 10 years

SOPHIE RISHWORTH
Last updated 15:03 25/01/2011
Goose and Highland bull
REBECCA GRUNWELL/The Gisborne Herald.

INSEPARABLE: 'The goose normally keeps the other animals away from Hamish - she is exceptionally jealous.'

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Gisborne's oddest couple celebrate 10 years together this month.

The friendship between a Highland cattle beast and a goose was forged in January 2001 in the paddocks of Knapdale Eco Lodge off Back Ormond Road, after the two bonded following the death of one of their mates.

The goose has since become an unlikely member of the Highland cattle herd and is completely devoted to Hamish, born two weeks after the goose lost her mate.

The unlikely pair have been inseparable since.

The lodge's owner and "head gardener", Kees Weytmans, said all the animals used to be in the same area - there were geese, Highland cattle, 10 emus, a pig, 10 deer and two cattle beasts.

"One night there was an almighty fight and the goose's mate was killed."

No one was talking after the incident but Mr Weytmans thinks it might have been one of the emus.

It took the goose a couple of days to come right.

"Then two weeks after its mate was killed, Hamish was born. I can remember the goose lying in the paw of the calf and they've been mates ever since."

The goose is Hamish's constant shadow and has a bit of the green-eyed monster in her.

"They just hang out together. The goose normally keeps the other animals away from Hamish - she is exceptionally jealous.

"We think that the attraction is from the goose to Hamish rather than the other way around. We reckon the goose is a she, but we have no idea," he said.

Hence, it has remained unnamed.

Geese are among birds that bond for life such as paradise ducks, pigeons, swans, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks and penguins.

Other monogamous animals include wolves, beavers, lobsters, gibbon apes, French angelfish and vultures ... which actively discourage infidelity by having nearby vultures attack any vulture caught philandering.

- The Gisborne Herald

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