Found with the bottom part of his beak missing and his tongue hanging out, the future looked bleak for Wilton the goose.
But six months on the Canadian goose is on the mend – thanks to the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital and the tremendous support of Batley people.
The bird hit the headlines when he was found with the nasty injury in Wilton Park. Witnesses said that a gang of teenagers had been attacking the goose.
Fundraising appeals, dedicated Facebook pages and messages of support followed, and Wilton was taken in by the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital, near Selby.
Hospital co-founder Dan Sidley said he was pleased with Wilton’s progress and bowled over by the public response to his plight.
“Our specialist bird vet is very happy with the way he has progressed.There was not enough of his bottom beak left to fit a prosthetic one but he has done really well. He can feed and clean himself – it’s been a resounding success. He’s been very lucky.”
The hospital does not usually keep birds long term, but as Wilton would not be able to fend for himself in the wild they are making an exception.
“The response from the people of Batley has been incredible,” Mr Sidley said. “In 10 years of operating I’ve never known anything quite like the way people have come together to support an animal.” Monetary donations, as well as towels and other essentials for the centre have been donated since the story broke.
“It’s a credit to the local people,” added Mr Sidley.