White Rock Geese: By Danny Fulgencio

Volunteers who care for geese at White Rock Lake say a man pulled up to Sunset Bay, the goose gathering spot, in a maroon SUV, grabbed a goose by the neck and shoved it into his vehicle.

An unnamed lake goer apparently reported the incident to a couple of the regulars, including goose godfather (the Advocate’s name for), Charles Fussell, who says 10 geese or more have disappeared in the past few weeks.

Among the missing are well-known geese including Checkers, Tiny and Roger.

Now, if you have to ask how folks know these waterfowl by name, you probably don’t recall the case of Wilbur Goose (click then scroll down to read about Wilbur, Charles, et. al), and what we learned there.

In 2012, people panicked when beloved Wilbur — a leader among geese and friend to humans, brave, funny and loving — vanished.  When I asked someone in the know how she could identify Wilbur among the others, she laughed at my ignorance. “If you ever met Wilbur,” she chuckled, “you would understand.”

Point is, many of the geese at Sunset Bay are practically as domesticated as house pets and are known by name. Fussell and the others are trying to get out the message to all who adore the gaggle at Sunset Bay: Help us keep an eye on the area and call 911 if you see suspicious activity.

Brooke Whitaker says she has “called on the police, PETA, White Rock Lake Task Force and fellow citizens to keep watch and stay vigilant.”

She adds that she and others such as Fussell have tried recently to work with the Dallas Park Department “to inquire about establishing Sunset Bay as a sanctuary for the birds.”

“We see park goers throwing sticks, rocks, chasing and taunting the ducks and geese,” she notes. “Kayakers and fishermen wander too close to the bay and nests and disturb migrating pelicans during the time they are visiting.”

But the city does not think the “sanctuary” route is quite right.

Many of the Park Department’s experts and staffers believe the birds should not be assembling at the spot, that the birds, naturally, should be migrating, but they are not because of the regular feedings delivered by humans.

There are signs up about not feeding the birds, Whitaker notes, but none about mistreatment, which is “maddening.”

Whitaker and her lake-loving friends want to “protect the rights of everyone to enjoy and appreciate the beauty the birds bring to our lake,” she says.

Those who feel the same, she says, have a duty to protect them.

We report more as we learn more.