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2007-09-20

Goose safe, culprits caught

By Judith Pannebaker

A goose injured by an apparent gunshot last month at Bandera City Park has found a new home in Kendall County.

According to a Kerrville veterinarian, it appeared the injured goose had sustained spinal damage as a result of the attack, said Bandera Police Chief Jim Eigner.

“The goose was unable to walk properly, and I was afraid we might have to put him down. After all that goose had gone through, I thought that would have been a shame,” he said.
“Luckily for us, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Kendalia offered to care for him and give him a permanent home. We think this is the perfect solution and we’re very grateful to the staff,” Eigner continued.

Since 1977, WRR has provided rescue, rehabilitation and release of orphaned, injured and displaced wildlife, as well as offered a sanctuary for non-releasable and non-native wild animals. WRR now includes among its variety of charges, lions, cougars and jaguars, as well as domestic animals, livestock and fowl that reside at “The Wildlife Rescue Do No Harm Farm.”

With the fowl’s future taken care of, Eigner turned his attention to tracking down the two young men responsible for shooting the goose. Using a description and license plate of the “very distinctive,” pickup truck, a PD investigator easily identified the young men as residents of San Antonio and Helotes.

“It wasn’t difficult to find them, and once we did, they readily admitted to shooting the goose,” Eigner said, adding, “But I really believe it was an act of stupidity rather than cruelty.”

He explained that the two young men had been firing a pellet gun at the river prior to taking aim at the goose as it waddled toward them. “They told me they thought the gun had jammed and no pellets were coming out,” Eigner said. “When they fired at the goose, they found out otherwise.”

He indicated the 18- and 19-year olds, along with their parents, would make restitution for the veterinary fees. In addition, they would be assigned to do community service at river park.

Calling the incident “a case of failing to think through the consequences of their actions,” Eigner said, “It was just one of those stupid teenage things.” He added, “All in all, it was a good outcome. The goose is safe and the two men responsible for its condition have hopefully learned a valuable lesson.”