Beds, Herts & Bucks

Goose 'shot' in Sandon exhumed by police for tests

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

The body of a goose that was allegedly shot dead at point-blank range in Hertfordshire has been exhumed by police for a post-mortem examination.

The white goose, known as Grumpy Gertie, was well-known in Sandon and appears on the village sign.

Villagers claimed he was shot at the pond on 21 February by a gang in a 4x4.

Police had said there was no evidence of a shooting as the goose was buried before they arrived. The body is now with the Royal Veterinary College.

The post-mortem examination is expected to take place at the end of the week, a police spokesman added.

More on this and other stories from Hertfordshire

Gertie would often be seen in a disused phone box, which villagers said he had made his "home".

It is now filled with letters, flowers, a lantern and children's pictures of Gertie.

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

The RSPCA, which is investigating with police, said it was appalled by the suspected shooting, which it described as senseless and reckless.

It is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to intentionally kill or injure any wild bird.

Grumpy Gertie's fate featured on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show on Friday, when a Peter Hunt from Eastbourne in Sussex texted in to offer £250,000 to catch the "vile killers".

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

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