Just down the road from my village is the picturesque village of Writtle, and like a lot of English villages it has a pond, home to Godfrey and lots of ducks. Godfrey is a much-loved Toulouse goose who has been the resident patriarch of the pond for over ten years. He guarded the ducks from his island like a drill sergeant, and frequently gate-crashed wedding photos. Sadly now his future is uncertain. He became unsettled by the arrival of four rather aggressive Indian Runner ducks, believed to be former domestic pets which were dumped in the pond.
Residents were concerned when he disappeared from the pond, some thought he had moved on with a new mate, but concern turned to alarm when he was seen on December 29th with a bloodied head. The RSPCA took him to the South Essex Wildlife Hospital. Turns out the new ducks had been giving the poor old boy a hard time beating him up.
Residents decided to capture Godfrey’s arch nemeses and re-home them, it was done quickly and carefully. They were the most aggressive ducks they had ever seen. A resident said "I didn't think four ducks could cause such mayhem. I walked past the pond after they had gone and all the remaining ducks looked relaxed once again”. Maybe that’s why they were abandoned, why don’t people just contact the RSPCA if they can’t cope, it makes me so angry.
Godfrey is now recuperating. Staff at the volunteer-run veterinary centre have kept him cosy under a heat lamp, he has been on antibiotics for an infected wing and is responding well to treatment. But there is concern about what to do next, the RSPCA say he is stable for the moment, but it is too early to say if he is well enough to return to the pond. Apart from his injuries he also has arthritis. The villagers are keen to have him back, but for the time being he will remain in the hospital where he is safe.
Good luck Godfrey