Geese are bred for their meat in rural Turkey, meaning they are rarely kept as pets. But Cango is more than that for Yılmaz Evcenler.
In a bond that transcends species, Evcenler and Cango (pronounced "Jahngo”) have been best friends for nearly a decade. Nine years ago, he adopted two geese from a doctor friend. Although the female goose of the pair died only two weeks later, Evcenler continued to look after Cango, the gander.
Sporting a smart bowtie, Cango travels along with Evcenler wherever he goes, either to the shopping bazaars or the fields. People who see Evcenler and his goose walking outside together are eager to take photos with Cango or feed him cookies.
Evcenler, the father of two children, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Cango is very fond of his family. "We take the animals to the field, he follows us. After that, I decided to take him to the bazaar,” he said. Evcenler, who lives in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, has also taken Cango on road trips to the neighboring Sakarya province and to Istanbul, the country's most populated city.
"We travel with Cango. Whenever I feel stressed, I put Cango in the car and we hit the road,” he added. When Evcenler gets in his car, Cango follows him, and in the summer he hops into the tractor, helping the family work the field.
Cango also has a prime spot in Evcenler’s minibus, with a place on the front seat taking in the scenery. The goose also waits for Evcenler to get back home from work, he said.
"When I get home, he immediately starts honking,” he said. "In the morning, when he hears a click at home, he starts up again.” Geese have sensitive emotions, he said. "I talk to him all the time. When I speak, he starts making noises.”