Neighborhood Rallies to Save "Gilby the Goose"

RENO, NV - Waterfowl have always been part of the landscape at south Reno's Village at Donna Creek condominium complex.

The creek flows through the center of the complex forming a huge pond which has a resident population of ducks, geese and, at times, some drop in visitors.

"We see visiting ducks that drop in on their migratory trail," says resident and board member of the homeowners association Elizabeth Laughon. "We have Canadian geese, terns."

But some thought the pond's long time resident African geese, two females variously called Betty and Wilma or Thelma and Louise, were a little lonely and depressed without male company.

Laughon posted a notice at a local Petco and found an African gander named Gilby. His owner needed to find a new home for him. It was as if fate took a hand. Laughon played match maker and brought him home.

Gilby settled in. The girls seem happy, most of the neighborhood seemed pleased.

"I love him.," says resident Alvin Vassar. "He's a character. He's right at home here. He's got his two girlfriends."

So Gilby has his fans, but others aren't so welcoming.

Some here, it seems, aren't buying into this romantic tale.

There's been a complaint accusing Laughon of keeping Gilby as a pet, something she dismisses. "He lives outside at the pond. He eats grass," she says.

There was also something about the noise. Truth be told Gilby can sound off if a stranger gets too close to him or the girls.

But his supporters point out he's not the only goose here.

"We've got fifty Canadian geese who come in every winter," says Vassar. "So I don't know what the big fuss is about Gilby."

Laughon admits she should have cleared all this with the rest of the home owner's association, but she's determined to correct the error and she's finding a lot of support.

"This place is like a nature reserve," says resident Tom Butler. "I'm glad he's here. It kind of adds to the ambiance."

Laughon has until August 15th to gather more than 160 signatures. One problem she faces is that some owners live elsewhere. So she's set up an online petition and email address where they and others can weigh in on the issue.

She's still about 50 signatures short, but hopeful.

So too, we imagine are Betty, Wilma and Gilby.

You can access the online petition at

Or contact her at

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