A goose that was buried after it was reportedly shot dead a small village has been exhumed by police for a post-mortem examination. Residents in Sandon in Hertfordshire have been expressing their shock and sadness after the death of the popular bird last weekend. The goose was paddling along when a gunman in a 4x4 allegedly opened fire as the vehicle was driven through the village on Sunday afternoon.
The window of the passenger seat was wound down and then one of the two people inside is understood to have shot the creature in the head.
Residents then removed the bird, who was known Grumpy Gertie, from the pond before she was buried.
Police said the goose had been exhumed so the cause of death can be established.
A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Police said: "Police received a third-party report regarding a goose being found dead in Rushden Road, in the village of Sandon on Sunday afternoon at around 4.30pm.
"The RSPCA are currently investigating (as they are empowered to do so under the Countryside and Wildlife Act) but police are assisting them with this.
At this stage we are unable to confirm how the goose died. We have no evidence to suggest it was shot, although there are rumours about this.
We will be speaking with local residents to try and establish if there are any witnesses because at the moment we only have third-party reports.
"Unfortunately, prior to officers attending, the body had been buried so an officer had to visit the area and remove the goose from this location. The body is now with the Royal Veterinary College where a post-mortem will be carried out.
If it can be confirmed the bird was shot, this would of course be investigated (again jointly by police and RSPCA). If a person is found responsible we'd look at interviewing them jointly with the RSPCA.
The evidence would then be considered as to whether the RSPCA or police would prosecute."