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Monday, March 21, 2011

Wild goose chase: bird with arrow through its chest for six weeks finally caught, operated on and... survives

By Simon Neville

Quilly the Canada goose was caught after nearly six weeks waddling around with an arrow through its body

Some believed it was a wild goose chase.

But after more than a month of pursuing a Canada goose with an arrow through its body, rescuers at the Wildbird Rehabilitation Center in Denver, finally caught their prize.

The bird, given the name Quilly, has undergone surgery to have the arrow removed and, once recovered, will be released back into the wilds of Denver, Colorado.

The goose was first spotted on valentines day. Every time anyone tried to catch him he would run or fly off

First spotted in Washington Park by concerned onlookers more than a month ago, rescuers tried in vain to catch the goose.

Volunteer Gabrielle Wimers from the Rebabilitation Center told the Denver Post: ‘He is a very smart goose. He outsmarted everybody for a month.’

Gabriele Braunschweiger, another volunteer added: ‘We knew where he was for several weeks, but it was hard to catch him with all the people around.

‘Everyone tried to catch her and that made her skittish.’

He was finally caught by wildlife volunteers and taken to animal hospital

Vets removed the metal arrow in a short operation. They expect him to be returned to the wild within days

Finally, on Thursday morning the bird was spotted again, this time in Garland Park.
He was surrounded and caught using a string foot snare.

Rushed to Homestead Animal Hospital, vets said if the arrow was slightly to the left the goose would be dead.

He had an operation under general anaesthetic to have the arrow removed and should be released in the next few days.

Lucky: The arrow missed the goose's vital organs, but vets say it is something they see happening all too often

Vet Jerry La Bonde told KDVR-TV: ‘Just a couple of inches has made a big difference.

‘Unfortunately we tend to see a lot of this.

You don’t have any explanation for it. Fortunately for this bird it got lucky. If that arrow had been a couple of inches in the other direction he’d have been dead and it would have been a wasted life for the sake of someone’s enjoyment or not having anything better to do.’

Wiemers added: ‘Hopefully he stays away from anybody with an arrow.’



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