Staff and volunteers at Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare were left devastated after the shooting of one of their much-loved sanctuary geese.
Gun shots were heard early on Wednesday evening (November 25), coming from fields near the animal welfare centre.
Concerned Raystede workers rushed out to find one of their geese fighting for its life, struggling to get back to safety under the centre’s perimeter fence.
On inspection, they were horrified to see the bird had been shot and was covered in blood.
Raystede wildlife hospital personnel worked into the evening caring for the bird but it became clear that the goose would not survive and had to be put to sleep.
Geese have been living at the animal welfare centre for more than sixty years, many of them raising their young and enjoying the safety offered by Raystede. The victim of the shooting was an adult goose and had a lifetime mate who will desperately miss the strong bond created between them.
Kathryn Frost said: “Geese mate for life and we understand that this bird’s mate did manage to return safely to the confines of the centre but the unfortunate goose was too poorly to be treated at our wildlife hospital.”
Head of Communications, Carl Cawthorne, added: “This is not an isolated incident, shots have been heard before around feeding times and while it is not illegal to shoot at free flying geese, I feel it is inherently unethical to target birds around a wildlife sanctuary.”
Police were contacted and advised on a course of action for any future incidents.
Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare are appealing for support for their dedicated rehabilitation work and encourage readers to get in touch at 01825 840747 or visit www.raystede.org to make a donation to Raystede’s Wildlife Hospital.
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