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'Honk' the goose forms friendship with wildlife officer in Tennessee

Posted at 11:42 AM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 14:42:57-04

On a lake in Bedford County, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency officer Darrell Bernd, who goes by the nickname "Bones," has formed an unlikely friendship with a wayward goose.

While on duty in July, Bones found the goose tied up in fishing line, unable to get free. He freed the goose from the fishing line and brought it back to health. A co-worker gave the goose the name "Honk."

"Thirty-four years ago I was hired out here just to mow grass," Bones said. "Now, here I am babysitting a goose."

The best Bernd can tell, someone had Honk as a pet that imprinted on humans before the goose's owner turned it loose, unable to fend for itself in the wild.

Ever since he rescued the goose, the two have been like birds of a feather, with Honk now following Bones around wherever he goes.

"I've actually had him following me for almost a mile," Bones said.

Starting Wednesday, Goose has become Facebook famous, with his own page on the social media platform.

As a wildlife expert, Bones is encouraging Honk to hang with his friends in the wild. Honk has begun spending more time with a flock of geese near Bedford Lake, sometimes gone for days at a time. Bones wants to get Honk used to the wild, so he can live on his own.

But while Honk is still around, he and Bones are teaching us all something about what's good for the gander.

"Just a little act of kindness, that’s all it took," Bones said. "Maybe that’s something the world needs to learn today."

This story was first published by Jason Lamb at WTVF in Nashville, Tennessee.