Dead Sandon village goose 'was not shot', tests find
A much-loved village goose had not been shot dead despite reports it had been killed at point-blank range, 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.
The Royal Veterinary College is due to carry out further tests.
Police were called by devastated villagers after the body of the goose, which features on the village sign, was found floating in the pond near the phone box where he made his home.
One resident told how he scooped the goose from the pond and saw it had a cut to its head.
Within days the phone box was filled with flowers and tributes to the village "character" many referred to as Grumpy Gertie.
The tale was reported on BBC Radio 2 where listeners called in to donate money towards a reward to catch those responsible for the alleged shooting.
More than £275,000 was pledged 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."