The founder of an Abbotsford wildlife-rescue centre is upset after a Canada goose was shot in the leg by an arrow earlier this week and did not survive.
Elizabeth Melnick of Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center said the centre began receiving “tons of calls” on Wednesday morning about the goose that had been spotted in the 5700 block of the Langley bypass near Twin Rinks and Kintec Footwear and Athletics.
Callers indicated that the bird had an arrow stuck in its leg.
Two volunteers from the wildlife centre went to the scene, but could not locate the bird.
Employees indicated that it had flown into a nearby field but they had lost sight of it, and the volunteers couldn’t find it either.
Meanwhile, Melnick said calls about the bird kept coming in throughout the day as it was spotted at various times.
More calls were received on Thursday morning, with one person saying they saw a goose with an arrow in its leg in the marshes at Fraser Highway and 208 Street.
This time, the volunteers were able to find the bird, but it was dead. They removed it and brought it to the wildlife centre.
It had been shot through its right leg, and a post on the Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center Facebook page says, judging by the angle of the arrow, it was shot from above the bird and not as it was in flight.
Melnick said the Conservation Officer Service was notified of the incident.
She said it’s not the first time the centre has dealt with deliberately wounded animals.
She said they sometimes deal with birds that have been shot by pellet guns, including a female mallard currently in their care. The duck has lost one of her eyes and has six pellets embedded in her.
Melnick said the duck’s prognosis for being released back into the wild is uncertain at this point.
A goose that recently came to the centre had also been shot with a pellet gun and had a broken leg. The bird did not recover and had to euthanized after 17 days, Melnick said.
She said these incidents are preventable, and caring for them puts strain on the already-limited resources at the centre.
“It just breaks my heart. It’s unnecessary suffering (to the birds),” she said.
Melnick said she is thankful to all the people who reported the goose with the arrow in its leg and those who offered to help look for it.
Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center is the only one of its kind in the Fraser Valley, taking in abandoned, sick and injured small animals that are cared for and then released back into the wild whenever possible.
(Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley does similar work, but handles larger animals such as bears, raccoons and deer.)
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