A Canada goose with a hunter's 66-cm (26 inches) arrow sticking out of its chest picked the right place to land.
"This is a smart goose," said Bernard Levine, the retired veterinarian in whose Toms River, New Jersey, backyard the wounded bird showed up a few weeks ago.
"He happened to come into the yard of a veterinarian that could take care of him."
So Levine, 82, fed the goose, helped capture it, performed lifesaving surgery and transported it to the state's largest bird rehabilitation facility, The Raptor Trust.
All patched up after a three-week stay at The Raptor Trust, the goose was released last week into a stream in a wooded area on the trust's property with Levine witnessing the payoff for his kindness.
"It feels great to see him free and liberated, enjoying life the way a goose should," Levine said, as the goose preened and waded downstream.
Levine, working at the Toms River Animal Hospital he founded in 1955, removed 6 inches (15 centimeters) of the arrow lodged in the bird's flesh, as well as several pellets from an air rifle.
Levine said he hunted ducks and geese 30 years ago but a change of heart also changed his mind about the sport.
"With the encroaching civilization and the loss of a lot of habitat, these birds are pressed for survival," Levine said.
"I'd rather not shoot and kill them. I'd rather feed them and sponsor their lives."
The goose, which weighed 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) after rescue, weighed 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms) at its last weigh-in before it was released.
Raptor Trust veterinary technician Kristi Ward said the sex and age of the bird were not determined.
New Jersey wildlife management regulations don't permit hunting waterfowl with arrows like the one removed from the goose. - AP
April 2, 2010 - 'Grilled' Duck Survives 644km Trip
A duck survived a 644km-long trip from Belgium to Britain while being stuck behind the radiator grille of a truck.
Driver Paul Murphy assumed that he had killed the bird when it hit the truck in Veurne, Belgium.
He was surprised to see the bird alive when he reached back home and lifted his bonnet at a local service station.
"All of a sudden, I saw this green head. I couldn’t believe it," the Daily Express quoted him, as saying.
Murphy, 41, phoned a friend for help.
They prised the bird out with a screwdriver and rushed him to the People's Dispensory for Sick Animals (PDSA) centre in Leeds, with a bleeding beak and a broken wing.
Leeds PetAid hospital staff said the duck, which they have named Plucky, is making good progress.
They are awaiting advice from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) manager James Funnell said: "The bird will hopefully be moved to an appropriate wildlife rescue facility.
"Paul said he would be happy to return the duck to Belgium and release him into the wild." - ANI/Daily Mail