The heart-tugging tale of San Dimas' arrow-impaled goose came to a happy end Wednesday, when the projectile safely fell from the bird during a failed rescue attempt.
For nearly three weeks, the goose with an arrow lodged in its neck has been frolicking in Bonelli Park and the Puddingstone Reservoir, seemingly oblivious to the protrusion as it walked, swam and flew with ease and without any obvious pain.
Attempts to capture the goose and remove the arrow had proven fruitless. But at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, the goose was lured with food to the east shore of Puddingstone Reservoir, where an attempt was made to cast a net over it, according to the county Department of Animal Care and Control.
Although the net missed and the bird flew away, the arrow became dislodged on its own and fell to the ground. Animal care workers recovered the arrow and turned it over to the Inland Valley Humane Society.
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As it has all month, the bird did not appear to show any signs of discomfort as it flew off, finally arrow-free.
"We're extremely happy and relieved that there's a happy ending and that the goose seems to be safe and in good spirits," said John Wicker, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. "We've been trying diligently to capture this goose for the past three weeks with no luck as it kept flying away, so it's a great feeling to know that the arrow is now gone, and that the goose, hopefully, will now live a normal life."
The goose had become a local television celebrity thanks to media coverage of its plight, even though it appeared completely unaffected by the arrow in its neck.
Parks and Recreation officials were first alerted to the goose and its condition Dec. 1 by a park visitor. Since then, park staff, volunteers and members of the Inland Valley Humane Society and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife made several attempts to capture the goose, but the nimble bird easily eluded authorities.
The county Department of Animal Care and Control was called upon Tuesday for assistance, and officers spent several hours at the park, but still couldn't nab the goose, leading to Wednesday's peaceful conclusion to the saga. "We're happy to have been a part of the efforts to help the injured goose," said Marcia Mayeda, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.
"We are glad to see that the goose is no longer suffering and we believe that the goose will recover as animals in nature typically do."
It was still unclear how the goose wound up with the arrow in its neck.