A goose found with the bottom half of his beak ripped off in Batley's Wilton Park could be fitted with a prosthetic bill.

Wilton the Canada goose was found injured and struggling to feed two weeks ago.

There was shock when it was claimed Wilton, named after the park where he lived, had been attacked by a gang of youths.

The community rallied round and a Facebook group was set up.

Well-wishers flocked to the park to put down bread and feed for Wilton until he could be rescued and taken for treatment.

Volunteers from the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital at Barlow, near Selby, captured Wilton on Monday and took him to their bird sanctuary where he is now recovering.

Dan Sidley, founder of the sanctuary, a registered charity, said: “Wilton is doing remarkably well considering the extent of his injuries.

“The bottom part of his beak is completely missing and that makes it extremely difficult for him to eat.

“When I went to the park on Monday there was a lot of food around but he could really only eat small pieces of bread and he needs a more varied diet than that.”

Mr Sidley said the injury was healing well but he could not speculate on how it had been caused.

“There are rumours that he was attacked but I don’t know how true that is. If people have evidence of that they should go to the police.”

Mr Sidley said the intention was to monitor Wilton over the next few weeks but said the fitting of a prosthetic bill had not been ruled out.

“It is not a usual operation but it is something that has been done before,” he said. “It would be very much a last resort and we are hoping he will be able to feed. He is adapting well so far.”

Mr Sidley said the charity had vets who worked for free but the cost of any operation would still run into hundreds of pounds.

Tilly the goose who has had an artificial beak fitted by vet Andy MacGregor,at Ashlands Vets Ilkley
 

“We have specialist bird vets who charge nothing for their services but there will be costs for care, seed, bedding and medication,” he said.

Well-wishers have set up a donation page on the internet and more than £500 has been raised.

The charity has also been boosted directly and Mr Sidley said: “We have been overwhelmed by the reaction of the local community. People in Batley should be very proud of how they have cared for Wilton.”

Artist David Martin, of Thornhill, Dewsbury, is working on a watercolour of Wilton Park lake with Wilton the goose in the foreground.

He plans to sell limited edition prints for £15 each to raise money for the cause.

Wilton has the company of other geese at the enclosed sanctuary and has about an acre to explore.

The plan is for him to stay there indefinitely as he recovers - to donate click here.

Bionic buddies: meet the nine animals given a new lease of life by prosthetics - click here to see

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