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RSPCA Cymru issues litter reminder after goose is found with can stuck on its mouth

06 Feb 2024 3 minute read
The Canadian cross greylag goose with a can wedged in its mouth

A reminder of the dangers of litter has been issued by RSPCA Cymru after a goose was found with a can stuck on its mouth, leaving it unable to eat or drink.

The Canadian cross greylag goose was first spotted on Wednesday 31 January in a small pond behind the Lakeside area, near the Dare River, with the can wedged at the top of the beak and in its mouth.

When attending, RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Paula Milton said despite searching the area with a member of the public the goose was not seen.


“I was disheartened but I said I would be back after my next job,” she said. “I couldn’t stop thinking about this poor goose so after my next call out I cancelled my lunch so I could return, as I would be running out of time to track down this bird.

“Back at the location after a short while of only seeing many other geese, I saw something move right in front of me at the edge of the water. It was the injured goose – he was so well camouflaged!”

Using her net she managed to catch him successfully so she could release him from the can.

“I took him away from the water and put a blanket over him to keep him calm,” she said. “I then got to work by carefully cutting the can off his mouth. Luckily it was aluminium so was easy to cut off.

“I checked him over and thankfully the can had only been on him for a maximum of 48 hours so hadn’t done too much damage and I was able to let him go straight away. He swam off and started to drink straight away

“I am so pleased I was able to find him as he was so well camouflaged. The member of the public who I met there is going to keep an eye on him and I also rang the caller who was over the moon that we had got him and will keep an eye on him too.”

The much happier Canadian cross greylag goose afterwards

Thankfully, there was a happy ending in this case, however, the RSPCA say the incident is another reminder as to the dangers everyday objects can pose to animals – and the importance of ensuring waste and litter is always disposed of correctly.

Bin it

“This incident reminds us that everyday objects can cause distress and difficulties for animals,” said Paula.

“Litter can impact all animals – and the RSPCA continues to remind the public to bin, recycle or reuse waste materials so we can avoid incidents like this happening.

“Shockingly, we receive around 5,000 calls a year regarding litter and unfortunately, our wildlife are the main victims when it comes to people’s rubbish.”

For more information about how litter can impact animals, please visit

As the RSPCA enters its landmark 200th anniversary year – the charity wants to inspire a one million strong movement for animals, as the charity aims to “create a better world for every animal”.

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4 months ago

No real penalty for lobbing your rubbish around. No policing. Why will people stop? No incentive if you are inclined to spoil it for the rest off us through ignorance and neglect. The local beauty spots are inundated with rubbish and that is with bins only a few feet away, cars lob it out the window as if its a right of passage for the youngsters. The sea side is awash with plastic debris. Then you have councils removing bins because of cost. It will need a big change in attitude and at the moment people are not listening. As… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Indeed so. And how many people do you see walking their dogs in parks & roads near obvious signage warning “no dog fouling” only to witness them stop to allow their animal to foul verges & pavements without picking up the waste even though there are designated bins available. I have many times to my frustration. Sadly there are no park wardens anymore to warn those to pick up dog mess or local authorities the resources or willingness to fine those caught. Personally, I think all animals should be licensed, chipped, have their DNA taken, and any money accrued from… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

Truly shocking. Remember, a country mirrors its people. We should take example from Japan & Japanese society. They are a people well known for picking up litter after football matches. They care. Says a lot about us as a people.

I can recall as a child all those adverts in the 1970s & 80s promoting the cause, “Keep Britain Tidy”. Sadly society & morals have gone backwards. More idiots littering with no care about damaging our precious environment or the innocient animals that suffer due to micro plastics, rubbish & human waste that pollute our rivers & sea.

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