COOS BAY — For the last four years, whenever Chris Cameron pulled up to Empire Lakes Park, a husky white goose he affectionately named Stanley would waddle over to his Toyota Highlander to greet him.
But from now on, Cameron will be without his big, white feathery welcome.
Stanley was found dead from a gunshot Thursday morning on one of the park’s walking trails.
Cameron, 65, saw Stanley — who he calls the “park mascot” — every day before 9 a.m. and developed a close relationship with the bird.
Cameron said he would’ve fished out the bullet for evidence, but he was too torn up by his loss to follow through.
Cameron’s friend buried Stanley for him.
“He was more than a pet,” Cameron said. “I was probably closer to him than anybody else.”
Around the park, Stanley was beloved by many visitors, Cameron said. Now, he hopes folks who knew the goose can help find his killer.
“I hope enough people are aware so we can catch the bastard that killed him,” Cameron said.
He reported the death to the police, but he’s pessimistic about the culprit being caught.
Sgt. Michael Shaffer of Coos Bay Police doesn’t get animal assaults like this very often, but says a crime like this is definitely something his office would investigate.
“If there’s a crime involving animals, we’d look into it.
“(This type of crime) is not necessarily typical. Generally, people are real good about wildlife around here,” Shaffer said.
Cameron is a former zoologist who liked to spoil Stanley occasionally. He’d give the goose white bread instead of chicken feed from time to time, even though it’s more fattening.
And it’s those things he said he’ll miss most — feeding, petting and visiting his friend at the park.
“What was nice about going there to walk was that Stanley was there too,” Cameron said. “We had an understanding; we were comfortable with each other.”
Reporter George Artsitas can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 236, at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @COPSTheWorld.