The RSPCA is investigating after a pair of young goslings were taken from a vehicle, dumped in a canal in Walsall and left to fend for themselves.
The RSPCA was contacted on Monday night by a passerby who had spotted the birds being abandoned in the canal off Goscote Lane at around 9pm.
RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Cara Gibbon said: “The caller told us that they’d seen the white, bald man in his mid 40s and wearing a red shirt get out of a vehicle and chuck the goslings into the canal before leaving.
“The caller watched the birds for a little while and could see they had no parents with them and seemed to be struggling to swim and sinking beneath the surface so took it upon himself to rescue the birds.
“He found a container and took them home before calling us.”
ACO Gibbon went to collect the birds – two young goslings, still with their fluffy down feathers – and took them to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire.
“He told us the birds had been lethargic and the bird’s wing feathers appear to have been clipped in a bid to prevent the birds from flying away*,” ACO Gibbon said.
“It seems as though these were geese that were intended to be kept domestically, as part of a backyard flock.
“It’s extremely unusual for us to be called to help domestic geese that have been abandoned but perhaps someone took this pair on without properly researching what it takes to care for geese and provide for their needs.
“That’s why we’d always urge people to do lots of research before taking on an animal as, unfortunately, charities are all too often left to pick up the pieces when people get a pet on a whim without properly considering the commitment and responsibility involved in caring for them.”
The birds – nicknamed Ryan and Eva Gosling by ACO Gibbon – will be looked after by staff at the RSPCA wildlife centre before they’re old enough to be rehomed to a suitable home.
Ducks and geese can be kept as pets or in domestic settings but do require suitable environments. They need a large outdoor area that allows them to graze with access to open water, along with warm and dry indoor accommodation for them to escape adverse weather, as well as rest and be secure from predators.
The RSPCA recommends keeping more than one goose as they need company of their own kind.
For more information about keeping geese as pets, please see the RSPCA website.