Sunday, February 28, 2016

£250,000 reward offered to catch killers of goose shot in suspected drive-by shooting

A £250,000 reward has been offered in an attempt to track down the killers of a much-loved goose which was reportedly shot at point-blank range.

The white goose, known as Grumpy Gertie, was so well-known in Sandon, Hertfordshire, he appeared on the village's sign. But he was found shot dead at the village pond on Sunday amid reports he was gunned down by a gang in a 4x4. One man has offered the reward for the capture of the "vile killers". Villagers said Gertie was considered a fixture in Sandon, where he could often be seen "standing guard" in a disused phone box.

Gay Ayton said: "He was a real character - he was hand-reared here and thought he was a duck. You'd see him in the middle of the road stopping traffic so the ducks could get by. It's very sad." Now the phone box is filled with flowers, letters from children and a lantern. Villager George Wallbridge, who pulled the goose out of the pond, said he was told by witnesses that the bird was shot from a blue 4x4 car.

The RSPCA said it was appalled. "It is a reckless and senseless act to shoot a goose in the head at point-blank range," inspector Stephen Reeves said. A Hertfordshire Police spokesman said the goose was buried before officers arrived. "At the moment we only have third-party reports," he said. "If the body is examined and it can be confirmed the bird was shot this would of course be investigated."

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