Sandon goose died from blunt force trauma

The goose in his favourite hang-out, the telephone box.

The goose in his favourite hang-out, the telephone box. - Credit: Archant

The angry Sandon goose – who was believed to have been killed in a drive-by shooting – actually died from blunt force trauma, investigations have revealed.

A shrine was left for the goose.

A shrine was left for the goose. - Credit: Archant

The death of the goose was widely reported in the national media, after it was alleged that it was shot in the head by two men in a 4x4 car.

The story provoked anger in the wider community – two members of the public contacted the BBC’s Jeremy Vine Show to offer rewards - £250,000 from Peter Hunt in Eastbourne, Sussex, and £25,000 from John Barker in Cambridge – to find the culprits.

The goose, who used to hang out at the phone box and would be regularly spotted with a trail of ducks behind him, was subsequently dug out by police, and a post-mortem was carried out by Royal Veterinary College.

After a full forensic examination, including a CT scan, was conducted on the goose by veterinary pathologists, it was concluded that the goose had not been shot and probably died from natural causes.

A message for the 'brave' goose.

A message for the 'brave' goose. - Credit: Archant


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However, since further tests were carried out, the college can now confirm that the goose actually died from blunt force trauma.

A Herts police spokeswoman said: “Specialist officers based within the force’s Rural Operational Support Team have remained in contact with the Royal Veterinary College throughout the inquiry. Following further tests the college has confirmed the goose died from a blunt force trauma, however there is no physical evidence to confirm the exact nature of the trauma and, despite significant media coverage, no witnesses have ever come forward to help the inquiry.

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“The case has now been closed.”

The case has not been ‘crimed’ because the goose is not a wild bird and does not belong to anyone who can be a described as a ‘victim’ because of its death, police say.

The death of the Sandon goose sent shock waves through the village, and a shrine was made in the phone box, with flowers and heartfelt messages left by children.

One read: “Dear angry goose, I love you to bits”, and another one said: “To dear old Mr Goose, I will miss seeing you. My mum said when you popped your tongue out and made that hiss it was because you loved the ducks...don’t worry, me and my friends will look after (the ducks) now.”

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