A bloody wound, a crossbow bolt sticking out of his back - this was how a villager found a goose in the Fens

12:42 29 April 2014

Goose shot by crossbow at Elm

Goose shot by crossbow at Elm

Archant

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a goose was shot with a crossbow in Elm near Wisbech.

The bird, named Achilles by staff, is the last of a group which used to live around two village ponds near Grove Gardens.

He was spotted by a concerned passer-by with a bloody wound and a crossbow bolt sticking out of his back last Wednesday.

The RSPCA was called to rescue Achilles and take him to a vet at the charity’s nearby East Winch Wildlife centre where the razor-tipped bolt was removed and he is now being treated.

X-rays showed not only the bolt wound but also an old fishing line wound to the left leg, an airgun pellet embedded in the left leg, a self healed fracture to the right wing and bilateral septic arthritis to the feet.

RSPCA inspector Jon Knight said: “This poor goose has been through a number of wars - it is pretty amazing he is still with us. We named him Achilles after the virtually indestructible Greek demigod because of the number of ordeals he’s survived - it seemed fitting somehow.

“He was the last goose left living on this pond. There always used to be geese and other water birds living here - but many have been deliberately run over or shot with air guns and on one occasion used as a football over the past five years or so. No perpetrators were ever identified.

“It has been incredibly upsetting having had to deal with the amount of abused and suffering birds found on these village ponds. It also seems very sad to me that there are no water birds left on the village pond for the community to enjoy.

“If anyone knows anything about this attack we urge them to come forward. The wound was still fresh when I arrived so we think it probably took place overnight on the 22nd/23rd.”

Achilles is doing well and should make a full recovery despite his horrendous injuries when a new home will need to be found for him as a pet.

Alison Charles, manager at East Winch, said: “This goose is doing well now but is very lucky to be alive.

“The injuries were truly horrific. The bolt had not penetrated too deeply but had caused extensive wounds. If hit him anywhere else on the body it would have killed him.”

Anyone with any information about the attack should call us in confidence on 0300 123 8018.

To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message)

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