By Hannah Mackenzie
FLETCHER, North Carolina (WLOS) — A western North Carolina woman is making it her mission to help a critically endangered species.
Leeann Shearouse, owner of Carolina Avian Research and Education (CARE) in Fletcher, received four goslings from California on Friday April 22.
Just four days old upon arrival, the birds are Roman geese – said to be one of the oldest breeds of the animal. They’re listed as critically endangered.
Shearouse named the birds William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan –- a nod to their rumored noble background.
“This wonderful breed, which is thousands of years old, was brought to earth as a gift from the goddess Juno, for the roman people,” Shearouse said.
The Roman goose is also listed on the Livestock Conservancy’s “priority list”. Shearouse said she’s making it her mission to help repopulate the foundation stock.
“They’re such a wonderful breed; I’m so sad that they have fallen from favor,” Shearouse said. “People want bigger geese; these are a small goose. It’s a shame because these are very docile, kind geese.”
This isn’t Shearouse’s first encounter helping an endangered breed. In addition to the 70 other birds that she houses at the CARE center, she also spent several years breeding the world’s rarest goose: the Nene goose.
“They give me a purpose,” Shearouse said. “I feel like I am doing some good.”
According to Shearouse, the Roman geese will be ready to breed in about one year. For more information about Carolina Avian Research and Education, click HERE or call 561-281-4483.
The center is open to visitors by appointment only.
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