BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Two Papa John’s employees faced an unusual situation in Burlington, Vermont, Saturday: a Canada goose stuck in their delivery driver’s car grille.
“I saw a goose waddling across the road. I slammed on my brake in response, but a little too late, and I heard a thud, and I thought, 'Oh my God, I just hit a goose,” Papa Johns’s delivery driver Ryan Harrington told WCAX.
Harrington knew he'd struck the animal, but he wasn't prepared to see it still in his car's grille when he returned to work.
"I was freaking out then because I have a live goose stuck in my car's front grate," he said.
Harrington told his manager about the situation.
"It was unbelievable at first," said Papa John's Manager Tanisha Tyler.
The approximately two-foot goose survived the incident. First responders say it was a miracle.
After making calls to Burlington police, animal control, Fish and Wildlife, and state police, Tyler finally got through to a dispatcher who alerted Green Mountain Animal Defenders.
Esther Lotz who volunteers for the non-profit, helping animals in crisis, was first on the scene.
"I always have boxes, carriers, blankets, towels, muzzles, leashes, ropes, tarpaulins, and leather gloves," said Lotz.
Lotz soon realized this rescue required assistance beyond her expertise. She called 911 and the Burlington Fire Department responded.
The Papa John's employees say they're just glad they could take the bird under their wing.
"He needed us, and we needed to save him, and we did. They got him out," said Tyler. "We named the bird. The bird's name is Roberto or Roberta if it's a girl."
Lotz drove Roberto, or Roberta, to a wildlife rehabber in Poultney who says the bird may have a broken pelvis, but they expect it'll make a full recovery.