Thomas the goose, a popular animal in New Zealand who’s blind, bisexual and polyamorous, has passed at the age of 40. On Tuesday, Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust (WBRT), the facility where Thomas spent his remaining years, made the sad announcement of the beloved animal’s passing.
Thomas the bisexual goose had an interesting story that appealed not only to locals but also to people from all over the world. It started when he separated himself from the gaggle when he found Henry, a male black swan with whom he spent 24 happy years.
Then a new swan, a female named Henrietta, came into the picture, but even that did not stop Thomas from continuing a life with Henry. Henrietta and Henry found a nest together, but Thomas didn’t leave. Instead, he stuck around and even helped raised the couple’s 68 cygnets for the next six years, acting as their uncle. At that time, people would find joy in seeing the unconventional goose family waddling around Waimanu.
Because of Thomas’ interesting, yet complicated love life, he rose to fame and this continued on, especially after the news that Thomas’ lifelong love, Henry, died in 2009. Henrietta went to find a new love. It was heartbreak for Thomas because he was left without a family after Henry’s death. Somehow, that’s not the end of Thomas the bisexual goose’s heartbreak.
Thomas managed to move on after Henry and find a female goose that he mated with. Unfortunately, his cygnets were adopted by another male swan, which left the celebrity bird alone once again. Thomas then moved to Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust in Johnsonville where he made friends. In 2013, Thomas became blind in both eyes, but despite losing his sight, he managed to care for some cygnets in the facility.
The polyamorous goose spent the last five years at the rehabilitation center. There, staff cared for him, made him feel he had a family, and gave him the love that he deserves until his death. Heartfelt messages from people who followed Thomas’ story and from everyone who admired him poured in — and even Twitter mourned his death.
WBRT shared their tribute to Thomas the bisexual goose with an emotional post that mentioned how he was a “true inspiration” for caregivers in the rehabilitation facility. WBRT also expressed their thanks to all the people who showed their love for Thomas.
“Thank you to all those people who loved, cared for and were a part of Thomas’s life. He was such a special boy and a wonderful character.vThomas, our good friend, we miss you wholeheartedly but may you rest in peace.”
A public ceremony for Thomas was held and WBRT also revealed he will be buried beside his true love, Henry.
Geese and swans are traditionally monogamous, but Thomas’ mating behavior wasn’t considered odd in nature since polyamorous behavior has been recently observed in some animals, IFLScience reports. Homosexuality in the animal kingdom has also been documented.