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Flamboyant Waikanae goose moves on

Last updated 15:14 28/08/2013

BEN STRANG

AMY JACKMAN / Fairfax NZ

Gay goose: Thomas the gay goose has been relocated from his home in Waimanu Lagoon, Waikanae, to a safer place in Ohariu Valley.

AMY JACKMAN / Fairfax NZ

Thomas the bisexual goose has been shifted from his home of 30 years at Waimanu Lagoon in Waikanae to retire in Ohariu Valley, having gone blind, and being attacked by other pond-dwellers.

The popular goose has had his troubles over the past six months. His stomach had to be drained about four months ago, and he went blind in one eye.

Last week a caller to Kapiti SPCA reported that Thomas was swimming in tight circles. He was captured and rehabilitated over the weekend.

But on Monday swans at the lagoon started attacking Thomas, and now it appears his good eye has deteriorated and he has only about 10 per cent vision.

''He's been a pretty popular resident at the Waimanu Lagoon for about 30 years,'' Kapiti SPCA manager Peter McCallum said.

''Thomas had a long-term relationship with a swan called Henry at the lagoon.''

The pair partnered up for about 25 years before Henry struck up a relationship with a female swan called Henrietta, and fathered 68 cygnets in six years.

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Kapiti Bird Tours operator Mik Peryer, who named the trio, told Fairfax Media at the time that the trio formed a quirky love triangle, with Thomas playing uncle to the cygnets.

Henry died in 2009 and in 2011 Thomas paired up and fathered a brood of goslings for the first time.

Mr McCallum said Thomas had been doing well since Henry died, ''but he is getting on a bit for a goose''.

He said it would be sad to see Thomas leave the lagoon, and residents living in the area would miss him.

Thomas is set to retire in Ohariu Valley, at the property of ''duckman'' Craig Shepherd, who  looked after Thomas about four months ago. He said then that it looked as though Thomas had suffered a stroke.

At that time Mr Shepherd drained Thomas' stomach of grit and dirt.

''That really perked him up, but now he's looking a little worse for wear again,'' he said.

''Now he will live a quieter, less stressful life. We have a couple of blind ducks I think he should get along with.''

He said Thomas had already lived an amazing life, because he would expect the average goose to live for about 10 years.

''Thirty years is amazing. He should be very happy with that. Hopefully he has a little more time in him,'' Mr Shepherd said.

''He's got a great personality, and I know he will be missed up in Kapiti. We'll look after him.''

- Kapiti Observer

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