Boy spends lockdown with a lost baby gosling he rescued from side of the road

Rex Stilwell, 12, is spending his time in lockdown with a new pal: a lost baby gosling he rescued from hungry buzzards after finding it on the side of the road.

Rex’s mum Emma, 51, was the first to spot the gosling, who Rex has named Winston, running around near the family’s home back on 21 April.

She was driving to the shops when she noticed the bird.

‘It was serendipity, really – I just happened to spot him down a road that I wasn’t even driving on,’ said mum-of-two Emma.

‘I had been meaning to go to the shops for hours, and was running really late, so I couldn’t stop.

‘Instead I called Rex and told him to get on his bike and see if he could find the gosling.

‘I thought that would be enough time for the mother goose to find it, if she was nearby.

‘But when Rex got there 20 minutes later, the gosling was still on its own – and there was a buzzard overhead that we think definitely would have swooped down on it.’

Emma predicted that, on the day they found Winston, the gosling was only a couple of days old at most.

It just so happens that Rex absolutely loves birds – so didn’t think twice about taking the gosling in.

Winston imprinted on Rex like a surrogate mother and follows him everywhere.

Every day Rex feeds the gosling, plays with him, bathes him, and keeps a daily log of Winston’s weight to make sure he’s in good health.

And Winston even sits in on Rex’s virtual school lessons – curled up on Rex’s lap as the student, of Beeston Hall School near Cromer, Norfolk, listens to his teachers through the iPad.

‘They have such an amazing bond, it’s a very sweet relationship,’ says Emma.

‘Winston goes mad when he sees Rex – you can hear him pattering around after Rex all over the house. Rex is loving it.

‘It’s perfect timing, really, with the lockdown. It’s a really nice thing to come out of this horrible time.

‘He wanted a hawk, originally. At the start of the lockdown he kept asking me if he could get a hawk.

‘He went online to see if he could find any for sale, but they were all up in Scotland, so obviously we couldn’t go and get them.

‘But now, having looked after Rex, he says he prefers having a gosling anyway.

‘Winston is very lucky to have him.’

The family plan to allow Winston fly free when he’s old enough and ‘let nature take its course’.

Emma said: ‘We’re not sure what he’s going to want to do, really.

‘At the moment, he still very much thinks that our house is his home, and he sleeps indoors.

‘But they’re flock animals – and sometimes they can fly off or go and find a mate.

‘We don’t know if he’s going to decide that he prefers to stay here and watch cartoons on the sofa. We just want to make sure the whole thing is very organic.’

In the meantime, Emma says that Rex has spent all of his savings on a ‘goose house’ for the garden – just in case Winston decides he wants to fly off but come back for regular visits.

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