Goose grounded by airgun pelletBy Hugh Fort
June 25, 2012
An Egyptian goose living at a fuel-polluted lake will never fly again after it was shot with an airgun.
The shooting at North Lake at South Hill Park comes a week after a serious diesel spill nearly killed two swans.
Vets have revealed the pellet is lodged just three centimetres from the bird’s heart and cannot be removed safely.
The goose is one of a pair living at North Lake who were rescued after the spill last week by volunteers from the Raven Haven bird sanctuary in Crowthorne.
After rescuing her, they noticed she had a problem with her wing and took her for x-rays at a vet’s in Andover, who found the pellet.
The damage to her wing means she will now not recover.
As a result, she will have to stay at the sanctuary as she will be too vulnerable to live in the wild.
Owner Steve Burns said: “It’s really sad, a few more centimetres and she would’ve been killed.
“I’m shocked anyone could do that.
“We rescued her and saw her wing wasn’t moving properly and the x-rays show she was shot. There’s no way she can go back into the wild now.
“Not being able to fly means a fox could get her and also she can’t get into the nest.
“We think she damaged her wing when she fell out of the tree after being shot, it’s very sad.”
The slick, which was reported on Friday, June 8, was described as a “disaster” by wildlife lovers.
Two coots died after being poisoned and the swans were seriously ill after ingesting large amounts of the fuel.
They have now recovered, but are still being looked after by volunteers at the Swan Lifeline charity.
Thames Water has been carrying out a clean-up operation at the lake and announced on Monday that it was safe for wildlife.
A team from the company has cleaned the swan’s nesting area and say it is now safe.
A spokesman said: “Pollution of any kind is deeply regrettable, but especially when it harms wildlife.
“This incident has caused a great deal of concern among those involved and we are working hard to try to confirm where the oil came from.
“We have now cleared up the spill from the lake and removed the contaminated vegetation. We’d like to thank the local swan rescue team who came to help us rescue some of the swans that had been covered in oil and while they are being looked after, we have cleaned their nest so they can be returned to a safe environment as soon as they are ready.”
Mystery still surrounds where the diesel came from.
Police were linking it to the theft of 57,000 litres of diesel from the nearby Sainsbury’s in Bagshot Road.
However, Chief Inspector Simon Bowden said on Tuesday the investigation had not revealed any evidence to suggest the two were linked.
He said despite the lack of evidence, it was a “huge coincidence” the two incidents had happened within hours of each other.