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Surprising reason white goose at Taipei Zoo turns gray

Scruffy waterfowl at Taipei Zoo earns unexpected fame

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A scruffy white goose at Taipei Zoo. (Taipei Zoo photo)

A scruffy white goose at Taipei Zoo. (Taipei Zoo photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — One may be tempted to believe that all geese love water but there is an exception at Taipei Zoo — a white goose that looks unbelievably messy because it dares not take a bath in the pond.

The maverick is a member of a gaggle of white Roman geese housed in the Children’s Zoo of Taipei Zoo, a public zoological garden in the capital of Taiwan. It has attracted attention for its markedly muddy feathers and caused concern among visitors about its health.

Taipei Zoo said in a press release that the waterfowl is perfectly healthy, has not been bullied by its companions, and it preens itself. The thing is that it never bathes out of a fear of water, said the zoo, citing a veterinarian’s examination.

While others swim and frolic in the pond, the lone goose wanders around on land. It does, however, keep itself relatively clean using stagnant water or water pumped out onto the ground, according to the zoo, as the park tries to assuage the public’s concern about the health of the slovenly goose.

Surprising reason white goose at Taipei Zoo turns gray
Differences between geese that take a bath and that don't. (Taipei Zoo photo)

Surprising reason white goose at Taipei Zoo turns gray
Maverick goose keeps away from water when others take a swim. (Taipei Zoo photo)