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'Crossbow' duck evades capture 24 days on

By Paul Nizinskyj, Wombwell Reporter Wednesday 13th February 2013
True survivor: The injured duck photographed by Norman Hearne.

A determined duck with a crossbow bolt through its neck has continued to evade capture by the RSPCA - 24 days after it was first spotted.


The mallard was found at Dearne Valley Country Park, near Monk Bretton Priory, by Lord Street resident Norman Hearne, 57, on January 20 but, despite daily visits by RSPCA officers, it is still at large and determined as ever to evade capture.


Although it has now been shunned by the rest of the mallards at the park, the bird appears to have kept up its strength and has continued feeding, even with the bolt still lodged firmly in its neck.


But Keith Taylor, 62, of Lanyon Way, said it was becoming an upsetting site to see the bird on his daily dog walk.


He said: "It's a distressing sight. I've seen it shaking its head trying to get this thing out of its neck and people don't want to see that, it looks inhumane."


An RSPB member, he also criticised the RSPCA for its slowness in catching the duck, adding: "I don't think they're spending enough time down there if they've not caught it yet. I know it can fly and that makes it harder but I've come to the conclusion they're not trying hard enough."


But RSPCA Insp Lynsey Harris, who has been tasked with catching the bird, said it was much harder than it looked. She said: "We've come within a few feet of it but then it's flown away. It's still very mobile and, although we thought it would become a bit weaker by now, there's no sign of that at the moment.


"We realise people find it upsetting and we feel exactly the same way. Every effort is being made by the RSPCA to catch the duck but there's only so much we can do."


• An investigation had been opened into who shot the duck and the RSPCA may be contacted on its cruelty line, 0300 1234 999, with information. Residents have also been advised not to attempt to catch the duck themselves as, if it becomes too wary of people, it may flee the area permanently.

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by TSnf I Wed 27th Feb 2013 at 5:11pm

This is an appalling act of cruelty, pity the culprit will probably never be caught. Here in Scarborough, we have had instances of gulls being shot with crossbows. Worrying thing is, the next time it could be a person, because the scumbags who indulge in this sort of crass behaviour are incapable of normal feelings or thoughts!!