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Penticton’s famous broken-winged goose living his best celebrity life

A local photographer recalls a recent visit where Kevin posed for the camera
Photographer Steve Heer captured Penticton’s famous Canada goose Kevin spreading his wings at Okanagan Lake. To see more of Heer’s photography go to on Instagram. (Steve Heer photo)

If you are curious how Penticton’s famous broken-winged Canada Goose is doing, Kevin is living the life of a celebrity, posing for the paparazzi and being fed nearly every day.

Budding photographer Steve Heer is the latest to encounter the gentle feathered friend. Heer wanted to practice bird photography so he headed down to the beaches of Okanagan Lake last week.

“I was there specifically to practice faster shutter speed shooting with flying birds. I generally practice with seagulls,” said Heer. While Heer was setting up, Kevin came waltzing over.

“At first I was actually terrified because geese are scary,” Heer said half kidding. “But as he got closer I recognized the wing and realized that I should dig up my camera and not be scared.”

What makes Kevin so unique among Penticton’s geese is not just his broken wing but his friendliness with humans. He isn’t aggressive or hissing. He’s gentle and tame.

When Heer dug out his camera, Kevin was more than willing to pose.

This isn’t his first brush with fame after all.

Kevin became famous across the Northwest in 2021 when locals tried to rescue him from what was to be a brutally cold winter. Because of his broken wing, he is ostracized from the other geese so is not protected by a flock. Calls came in as far as Washington and Vancouver Island to adopt the famous goose.

A local animal rescue group even attempted to rescue Kevin but the Penticton goose had other plans. He survived the winter and has gone on to collect a host of human friends who visit him regularly and make sure he is well-fed.

READ MORE: Kevin eludes rescue before winter

For Heer, Kevin got so close he struggled to get a picture with his long lens.

But then Kevin decided to stretch his wings and Heer captured a stunning shot.

“I feel like it tells the story of him coming to show me his beauty, realizing I have nothing to give him in return, and leaving,” he said.

Heer posted his shots on the Penticton page and soon he had 600 likes on his pictures.

Kevin not only has a following but he has his own day now.

Every Groundhog Day in Penticton is now Kevin the Goose Day.

Because the city doesn’t have a groundhog, the Penticton Western News decided two years ago that Kevin would be a suitable ambassador for Groundhog Day to see his shadow or not and tell us if we are getting an early spring or longer winter.

READ MORE: Kevin, Penticton’s most famous Canada goose, returns as Groundhog Day ambassador

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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