Wayward goose finds home in Eagle | VailDaily.com

Wayward goose finds home in Eagle

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyFrank Cristando offers Emma the goose some bread crusts Wednesday at her new home with him in Eagle.

VAIL ” East Vail’s celebrity goose has found a home for the winter.

“Emma” had made Bighorn Park in Vail its home this summer and befriended many neighborhood residents, but residents worried that the goose would not survive the cold weather.

But now Emma is the newest resident on Frank and Anita Cristando’s ranch in Eagle, where she has her own nest, a swimming pool and the company of Cristando’s chickens and wild turkeys.

“She’s doing pretty well,” Frank Cristando said. “She has her own nesting box in the barn, which she’s taken to really well. She kind of cruises around, and she follows me around, too.”

While in East Vail, Emma would eat out of people’s hands, follow residents around the park, and play in the playground with the children, said East Vail resident Monika Perry. But Emma never seemed to fly very far, and she did not leave with other flocks of geese that came through the park.

After Emma was featured in a Vail Daily article, Perry said she received a flood of offers to take care of Emma, from the Department of Wildlife to the wildlife refuge in Glenwood Springs. Others offered to take her to ponds in Denver or Colorado Springs.

However, Perry thought it would be difficult to move Emma very far, and she was not sure if Emma would survive at a strange pond with other geese, she said.

Frank Cristando contacted Perry about keeping Emma and even offered to help catch the goose.

“He showed so much interest, and he has other chickens and turkeys as pets. I just had good vibes about it,” Perry said.

Last week they caught Emma and put her in a dog crate to travel to her new home.

“She’s so tame, she came right to me and didn’t even struggle,” Perry said.

The East Vail residents definitely miss the goose, she said, but she knows Emma would not have survived the winter in Bighorn Park.

“The first day she was gone was the worst. You go and look around, and you see there’s no more Emma,” Perry said.

She will probably visit Emma in Eagle, and the goose may come back to live in Bighorn Park next summer, Perry said.

But the goose seems to enjoy exploring her new turf.

“She’s kind of bossing the chickens around. She hisses at them if they get too close,” Frank Cristando said.

The Cristandos thought they lost Emma a few days ago when she flew off and did not return. Later in the day, however, Anita Cristando found the goose following a woman and her two little dogs down the street.

“She’s pretty friendly and not afraid of people at all,” Frank Cristando said. “She’s a real sweetheart.”

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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