Unique white goose spotted in Cary
Posted February 6, 2014
Cary, N.C. — An unusual goose that was on the loose in Cary has been claimed by a woman who said her feathered pets often roam away from her property.
Evelyn Curtis said her grandmother, Hanna Curtis of Cary, owns a pair of pure white Sebastopol geese she named Ninny and Mischla.
WRAL viewer Karen Blue spotted one of the geese behind a Boston Market restaurant in the Kildaire Farms area Thursday and used her cellphone to shoot video of the striking bird known for its long, fluffy feathers.
WRAL News shared Blue’s video with the Town of Cary, which posted a picture of the bird on its Facebook page in an appeal to find its owner. They dubbed the goose “Whitey.”
Evelyn Curtis saw the social media post and figured the fowl belonged to her grandmother, who lives on a lake off Kildaire Farm Road.
"I gave her a call and asked if she was missing a goose," Evelyn Curtis said. "She responded, 'Always!' and began to explain that they had wandered off a few times in the past few days."
Hanna Curtis told her granddaughter that she had retrieved the birds from behind the Boston Market earlier in the day, but one of them must have wandered off again in search of grass.
When Blue spotted the beautiful bird, it was hanging out with a couple of Canada geese and happily munching on grass.
The Sebastopol is native to Russia and not very common in North Carolina, according to The Livestock Conservancy, a national nonprofit group based in Pittsboro. The organization knows of only two breeders in the state: One in Wilmington and another in western North Carolina.
Jeannette Beranger, research manager at the conservancy, said while some people like to raise Sebastopols for eating, most of them are kept as pets.
“A lot of folks get them as ornamental geese,” she said.
The conservancy lists the species as “threatened” because there aren’t many breeders for the bird, Beranger said.
She said it’s unusual for different breeds to flock together, but "Whitey" may have been desperate for company when it joined up with the Canada geese in Cary.
“Geese don’t like to be alone,” she said. “They’re going to want to hang out with whatever they can.”