New Bedford’s Pickle the Goose Is a Star at Buttonwood Park Zoo
The moment I heard that there was a goose here in New Bedford named "Pickle," I had to meet her.
Pickle is an emperor goose who currently resides at the Buttonwood Park Zoo among seven other emperor geese. Unlike the other geese in her gaggle, Pickle was born with a deformity called mandibular prognathism, which means her top bill is shorter than her bottom one and one of her eyes bulges out a little more than the other. Nonetheless, the 14-month-old goose has learned to eat and interact just fine.
Pickle was born in Buttonwood's bison pen and was imprinted on humans. In other words, she's more comfortable with people than most birds would be and depends on the zookeepers to provide food and caretaking. Thankfully, Pickle is fed food that is suitable and safe for her and as well as other birds. You may think that throwing bread to birds is a good thing, when in reality, it's harmful for them as they can not digest the bread itself.
I met with zookeeper Katie Harding, who was very knowledgeable about Pickle and also set up Pickle with her very own TikTok account.
Disclaimer: this TikTok account does not reflect the Buttonwood Park Zoo nor is there any ownership or affiliation. This account solely works and operates under a private user who just so happens to work at the zoo.
Harding went on to talk about Pickle's background and where the name actually derived from:
You can see her everyday at the zoo down by the Bison exhibit, and eventually, Pickle might be out and about on walks as a potential animal ambassador at the zoo, since she's so comfortable around people.