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Saturday, November 26, 2022
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Duck cruelly shot through the head with crossbow bolt in Telford

A mallard duck has survived a horrifying attack after being shot with what appears to be a crossbow bolt which has been left lodged in the bird’s head.

A crossbow bolt is lodged in the bird’s head. Photo: RSPCA
A crossbow bolt is lodged in the bird’s head. Photo: RSPCA

RSPCA officers are monitoring the male duck at Holmer Lake in Telford after the charity was alerted by concerned members of the public.

Despite his situation, the bird is still able to eat, fly, swim and interact with other members of his group.

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RSPCA inspector Claire Davey is one of two RSPCA officers to have been out to the area to try and catch him over the past three weeks.

She said: “It’s hard to believe someone would deliberately carry out such a cruel and callous act.

“It’s obviously an extremely distressing sight for people visiting the lake, but we’d like to reassure the public that we’re continuing to monitor the duck closely and I went out again last Friday (18 November) to check up on him.

“Presently, he’s able to eat, swim, socialise and fly and has even been seen fighting with other males in the group. But he’s extremely wary of humans, and because of this he sits at the back when being fed. As soon as he spots a net, he backs off, so our attempts to catch him haven’t been successful so far. Because he’s still able to fly, attempting a boat rescue is also extremely unlikely to result in a successful outcome.

“Unfortunately, attacks like this are not uncommon – wildlife is more susceptible to these incidents simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them. We’d urge anyone with information about this shooting to call our appeals line on 0300 123 8018.”

RSPCA officers will continue to keep a close eye on the mallard and the charity has asked members of the public to call again if he seems to be deteriorating. Currently, avian flu is a problem and the public are therefore urged to avoid picking up wild birds themselves.

All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal to deliberately kill, injure or take one, except under licence.

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