Thomas, the 40-year-old New Zealand goose who found himself caught in a love triangle with two black swans has died.
Thomas lived in the same area for around 30 years, where he became something of a local icon. The goose decided to stay away from other geese, instead partnering up with a black swan, named Henry, according to the New Zealand site, newshub. At some point, a female black swan, named Henrietta, joined the group.
Eventually, Thomas became a third-wheel for Henry and Henrietta and took care of their ducklings. Finally, at 30-years-old, Henry passed away. Thomas’ health slowly declined and was looked after by a sort of aviary shelter after cataracts in his eyes left him blind.
Craig Shepherd, who cared for Thomas in the final years of his life, describes the animal as a “lovely goose” with “a colorful history.”
Online, the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust mourned Thomas in a Facebook post, writing “he lived for corn on the cob and if it wasn’t there when we put him back into his house at night, he was not happy.” They added “[Thomas was] a true inspiration for the work we do and the things we are able to achieved for the animals in our care.”
Thomas’ age was almost as strange as his unconventional lifestyle. Most geese don’t get much older than 25 years and for a goose to live to be 40 is a small feat of nature. He will soon be buried beside his lost mate, Henry the black swan.