Apex was astir over the weekend with reports of a Canada goose waddling around town with an arrow stuck in its back.
Apex Police spokesman Capt. Blair Myhand said the department received so many calls last week about the unfortunate waterfowl that officers called the Wake County Animal Center over the weekend to see if the agency could retrieve it. But police were told they were on their own, Myhand said.
So officers took matters into their own hands, posting a photograph of the bird – whose arrow could be seen poking through its chest – to the department’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, where it received upwards of 50 comments and was shared more than 40 times.
Meanwhile, someone separately contacted a local animal welfare nonprofit asking them if they could rescue the goose and rehabilitate it.
Debbie Letteney, Peak Lab Rescue’s founder and director, said a foster client called her Sunday to tell her about the goose. The foster client ended up calling a colleague with a kayak, who paddled out to the middle of a pond near Haddon Hall neighborhood and managed to capture the fowl in a fishing net.
“We put it in a dog crate and made lots of phone calls to wildlife people, the North Carolina Zoo, the N.C. State emergency vet, but it was Sunday afternoon and no one was picking up,” Letteney said.
At that point, Letteney said, they heard that the police department had been getting calls about the goose for the better part of a week. But the hardy bird didn’t seem to be in any immediate distress, despite having an arrow stuck in its back.
It also was the day after Hurricane Matthew swept through the region, causing power outages, flash floods and downed trees.
I noticed the arrow was loose, so I started spinning it. I said, ‘Maybe I’ll just pull it out.’
“But I noticed the arrow was loose, so I started spinning it,” she said. “I said, ‘Maybe I’ll just pull it out.’ ”
And that’s what she did. With the approval of an exotic vet Letteney finally managed to reach, the goose was released back to the pond where it had been found, just north of Apex’s downtown. It is now arrow-free and, by Letteney’s account, no worse for wear.
“He just ran up and down looking for his family, and then he jumped in and went for a swim,” Letteney said.
Apex police updated their original post Sunday afternoon to share the good news.
Myhand said he’d guess the goose was shot intentionally but that nothing else is known about how the arrow came to be lodged in its back – or who put it there.
Gargan: 919-460-2604; @hgargan