The RSPCA is appealing for information after a Canada goose was shot with a crossbow in Smethwick.

The animal charity was contacted by a concerned member of the public who saw the injured goose on a canal in North Bridge Road, on 1 April.

An RSPCA officer caught the goose and took him to the charity’s Birmingham Animal Hospital, where the bird was sedated and the crossbow removed.

He was transferred to the charity’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Nantwich, Cheshire, so he could continue to recover. He recovered well and was released back to the wild yesterday (Tuesday 24 April).

Inspector Mike Scargill, who is investigating, said: “Amazingly the goose was still mobile and able to fly but we don’t know what damage this had done to him.

“He is a very lucky goose indeed as this could very easily have been fatal.

“It is very worrying that someone has deliberately done this. The goose would have suffered during those hours that the crossbow was in his head. Thankfully he received veterinary care and has now been released back to the wild, but if this happens again then the next animal may not be so lucky.

“It is also a very cruel and cowardly attack on an innocent bird. If anyone has any information relating to this, it would be treated in the strictest of confidence.

“It is thought that the goose was sighted earlier in the day at Edgbaston Reservoir, so the person who did this may not necessarily be from the Smethwick area.”

All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal – except under licence – to take, injure or kill wild birds or interfere with their nest or eggs. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or a £5,000 fine. It is also an offence, under the act, to use a bow or crossbow to kill or injure wild birds.

Anyone with information which could help the RSPCA’s investigation is asked to call the appeals line on 0300 123 8018.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.