A local water keeper and RSPCA inspector Heather Morris rescued the stricken bird from a steep bank on a stretch of the River Wye between Litton Mill and Cressbrook on Thursday.
The arrow had passed through the goose’s wing, but fortunately she escaped uninjured and Heather was able to remove the missile with a pair of wire cutters.
After the bird was checked out, the inspector released her back onto the water course.
But had the bird not been found by a member of the public, who contacted the RSPCA, then she would likely have starved to death or been predated on as she was unable to fly off.
The RSPCA inspector praised the efforts of the water keeper for reaching the goose, who had been left stranded on a far bankside of the river after being shot.
“The keeper donned his waders and he found some people to give us a hand. Then he managed to coax the goose down and into the water, although she did have second thoughts when she saw a passing swan and scrambled up a bank near me,” recalled Heather.
“After a little bit of running around I caught her and was able to assess the damage. Luckily for the goose the arrow had only grazed her feathers.”
The inspector says it is unusual to find a bird who has been targeted with weapons on this stretch of the river.
After it was removed from the goose, the arrow, which is around two-foot in length, was sent off to Derbyshire Police’s Rural Crime Team, who are also investigating the ‘cruel’ shooting.
“The arrow was shot from a bow and arrow,” added the RSPCA inspector. “I’ve never seen something like this in this area. Poaching hasn’t been a problem here before.
“While I don’t think the goose was in any pain it must have been very distressing for her. I used the cutters and carefully pulled the arrow out and she didn’t flinch. Fortunately, she was uninjured and I was able to release her back into the river.
“It was a good outcome and it was great to work with others who were so passionate about wildlife rescuing her.
“We’d like to hear from anyone who has information about this worrying incident.”
Wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to kill, injure or take them without licence. It’s also an offence to use a bow or crossbow to kill or take a wild bird.
Anyone with information about the shooting can contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018 or Derbyshire Police’s Rural Crime Team on 101 quoting the incident number 41-220422.