High school senior, who longs to work with wildlife, rescues injured goose

Frederick High School senior Zoe Bailey recently got a real life experience in what one day will be her dream job — saving wildlife.

On Jan. 2, she was driving home from work — a dog and cat daycare in Boulder — when she noticed an injured Canada goose on the side of the road that was suffering from a bullet wound. While the other drivers paid no mind to the injured bird, Bailey jumped to action.

The Canada goose on the far left is the fowl that Zoe Bailey rescued on Jan. 2. The animal is recovering at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

“I was able to walk behind it, fold its wing into itself and pick it up,” Bailey said. She made a nest out of jackets in her car and began to figure out her next step.

Bailey has always been passionate about helping animals, from raising birds that had fallen out of their nests to advocating for wildlife conservation on social media. She also plans to study zoology in college next year.

“When I started researching colleges and careers, I stumbled across zoology and the career choices that it led to, which included wildlife rehabilitation. That’s the job I want. I want to work and save wild animals and return them to the wild,” Bailey said.

Helping to save wildlife is just what she did in early January. After a quick Google search and a phone call, Bailey made her way to the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, just west of Longmont.

Greenwood Wildlife is a nonprofit rehabilitation center that takes in injured or sick animals with the goal of returning them to the wild. Greenwood took the goose from Bailey, who also gave a donation before leaving.

Linda Tyler, executive director of the wildlife center, said there are currently three geese receiving medical attention for bullet wound injuries, about an average number for hunting season.

“The main problem is with its foot. It’s limping heavily.” Tyler said about the goose that Bailey rescued. The center has been monitoring the goose while the wildlife rehabilitators have put it through swim therapy.

“Right now it can walk, which is very important for its release,” Tyler said. “But it may have permanent nerve damage.”

Her biggest concern for the goose is the possibility of it developing necrosis in its foot. Necrosis is when the body tissue dies because of a lack of circulation, leaving the body part unusable.

Bailey said she has been receiving updates about the goose, and might even have the opportunity to help release it from the center back into the wild.

“I’m so thankful for all the opportunities that I’m discovering that feeds my life’s purpose.” Bailey said.

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