A much-loved village goose had not been shot dead despite reports it had been killed in a drive-by shooting, tests have found. Villagers of Sandon, Hertfordshire, claimed the gander was shot at the pond on 21 February by gunmen and police exhumed his body to carry out tests.
A post-mortem examination found the bird likely died of natural causes.
The examination, which included a CT scan, concluded the goose had not been shot, police said.
Police were called by devastated villagers after the body of the goose was found floating in the pond near the phone box where he had made his home.
A £250,000 reward had been offered for the arrest of the shooters and police vowed to investigate.
A police spokesman said: "A full forensic post-mortem examination including a CT scan was carried out on the goose by veterinary pathologists at the Royal Veterinary College.
"This concluded the goose had not been shot.
Whilst a precise cause of death remains unknown and more tests are being carried out at the Royal Veterinary College,
a likely cause of death would be natural causes."
The Royal Veterinary College is due to carry out further tests.