£250,000 reward offered to catch man who killed goose in drive-by shooting as police open investigation

Hertfordshire Police say they will exhume the goose's body to do a post-mortem

A member of the public has offered a £250,000 reward to track down the killers of a goose shot dead in a drive-by shooting on Sunday.

The goose was reportedly shot dead by the pond where he had lived for 11 years by a man who leaned out of a 4x4 and opened fire in broad daylight.

He was a beloved local mascot for the residents of Sandon - a small Hertfordshire village - and even featured on their official welcome sign.

Peter Hunt from Eastbourne in Sussex texted the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 on Friday to say he would stump up the cash to help find the goose’s “vile killers”.

Floral tributes have been left to the animal in the phone box he made his nest and children have written letters to him. 

Gay Ayton told the Hertfordshire Mercury: "It's really shocking. A lot of the villagers are feeling very sad – even though he was cursed as sometimes you couldn't post a letter without a stick.

"It's spineless and so irritating. We've always had a goose. He is very protective of the ducklings [sic].

"The villagers are very sad as well as angry and sickened. The schoolchildren were upset when told by the headmistress."

It comes as Hertfordshire Police announced they would now investigate the incident following the public outcry. 

A police spokeswoman told BuzzFeed News that the force had dispatched a team of rural officers to investigate.

She confirmed that there were plans to exhume the goose to perform a post-mortem to determine whether it had been shot. 

Officers are also talking to villagers to get a clear picture of what happened.