The Canadian goose that was found shot with an arrow near Fay Bainbridge Park has been rescued and treated by wildlife shelter workers.
But when it comes to the bird’s health, it’s not out of the woods just yet.
“The goose is in super guarded condition,” said Lisa Horn, executive director of the West Sound Wildlife Shelter.
“We don’t know if it’s going to make it. It’s super stressed out,” she said.
Residents of Port Monroe discovered the injured goose near the Sandspit earlier this month, and Horn said people from the shelter tried for the better part of two weeks to catch the bird so it could get medical care.
While the goose was injured in a critical place — an arrow pierced its left knee joint — the bird still had a limited ability for flight, and eluded multiple rescue attempts by people who live nearby.
“The residents tried and tried and tried,” Horn said.
Volunteers and interns from the shelter also made repeated attempts at trying to catch the bird.
“It’s where the phrase ‘wild goose chase’ comes from. It definitely did not want to be caught,” she said.
Last week, however, the shelter returned to the neighborhood again after residents had the bird cornered, against a fence. A veterinarian and two interns from the shelter were able to complete the capture and bring the bird back to the West Sound Wildlife Shelter for treatment.
“The fact that the arrow was in there for almost two weeks was not helpful,” Horn said. “We’re doing our very best to protect it and hopefully get it back out into the wild.”
The arrow, described as a blue, bladed practice arrow, has been turned over to Bainbridge Island police, who are investigating the incident as an animal cruelty case.
Because the goose had trouble flying — it could only make it a few feet off the ground — Horn said it’s no doubt that the bird was shot by someone on Bainbridge.
“It was shot close to where it was found,” she said. “It had very limited mobility and was spending most of its time in the water.”
Officials aren’t yet sure that the goose, which is about a year old, will survive.
“The goose is pretty bummed out right now. Very stressed out, very traumatized,” Horn said.
The senseless shooting has left many on the island outraged.
“Everybody is just really blown away and saddened that someone would do this intentionally to a bird, especially a Canadian goose,” she said.
Horn said that for Bainbridge, the attack on the animal was rare.
“It’s not very common for us. We don’t see a lot of intentional abuse.”
Horn said the shelter was grateful to the islanders who contacted them and helped rescue the animal. She encouraged residents to contact the shelter, by phone or through its Facebook page, whenever they discover wild animals in distress.
“When the community comes together like this and helps to rescue animals, it means a great deal to us,” she said.