Kevin, the broken-winged Canada goose, has warmed his way into the hearts of locals and visitors alike but now that winter is coming, this fine-feathered friend is in trouble.
Maybe you’ve seen Kevin, waddling around Okanagan Lake beach near the Peach, being fed mini-donuts or wading in the water near shore. He’s been ostracized from his gaggle of geese because of his broken wing.
So Kevin stands alone and with winter coming, his human friends like Dave Chuokalos are getting worried for his future.
“The first time I met Kevin was in April when he started following me around the water. The water was freezing but I was rehabbing my leg and here was this injured goose following me everywhere,” said Chuokalos, who has taken up a friendship with the broken-winged bird and visits him at the lake multiple times a week.
|Kevin has been hanging out at Okanagan Lake with a broken wing since at least April, 2020. (Monique Tamminga)|
“While I was out in the water, someone called out to me and said, ‘That’s Kevin. Everyone knows Kevin.’” And it turns out lots of people do know Kevin. He gained a following this summer, with his broken wing and gentle demeanor.
“He’s very friendly. This summer everyone was buying him mini-donuts. One woman has gotten so close to him, she can pet him,” said Chuokalos.
Rescue groups in the area are also aware of Kevin. A lot of people are rooting for their fine feathered friend.
“Now we are going into winter and he’s going to either starve or freeze to death if he’s left out here,” said Chuokalos, while feeding Kevin on Monday.
Chuokalos is hoping Kevin can find a safe place to live for winter.
“I’m hoping there is a farm out there or an animal rescue that can take him in for the winter,” Chuokalos pleads. “I can’t bear to see him suffer and die here. All the other geese have left him because of his wing and they pick at him if he tries to join them.”
Kevin’s only feathered friends are the ducks who call Okanagan Lake home, he said.
Plus, Kevin can’t fly. He tries but can only get about a foot or so before having to come back down.
Last winter, Okanagan Lake froze about a metre out from shore. Chuokalos worries he could break a leg or freeze if he stays.
Chuokalos and his wife Maureen have been visiting Kevin a couple times a week since April. Others visit him regularly too.
All Chuokalos has to do is call Kevin’s name and he comes waddling over.
“You can’t help but like this little guy,” said Chuokalos.
Nobody knows how Kevin got his name. Or even if Kevin is a Kevin and not a Karen. Kevin is the bird in the popular Pixar movie Up, so that might be how he got his name.
“He’s just such a gentle thing who just really needs our help. I’d be willing to help in anyway I can to bring Kevin somewhere safe,” Chuokalos said.