Beds, Herts & Bucks

Reward offered after Sandon village goose Gertie 'shot'

Goose in the phone box Image copyright Robert Warner Smith
Image caption The goose, known as Grumpy Gertie, was a familiar sight in the old phone box

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".

As reported by the Hertfordshire Mercury, 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."

Image copyright Robert Warner Smith
Image caption Flowers, pictures and messages have been left in the phone box

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.

Image copyright Gay Ayton
Image caption The goose was pictured on the village sign

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.

Image copyright Gay Ayton
Image caption Goose could often be seen helping ducks and ducklings cross the road
Image copyright Robert Warner Smith
Image caption Children have written messages to the goose

Grumpy Gertie's fate featured on the Jeremy Vine Show on Friday, when a Peter Hunt from Eastbourne in Sussex texted in to offer £250,000 to catch the "vile killers".

Speaking on the show, villager Jean Handley said people were "incensed".

"He's been around for years. Everyone is really upset about it.

"To see the flowers there, on the floor of the phone box.

"Goose had that as his little house."

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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