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Horrendous dart attack on duck

PUBLISHED: 07:04 10 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:26 06 July 2010

The injured duck

The injured duck

Victoria Leggett

A two-month-old duck was this weekend battling to stay alive after being hit by a dart in what rescuers have described as a “horrendous” attack.

The seven-inch piece of sporting equipment was still embedded in its face, having gone in just under its eye, when it was picked up by animal workers near a lake at Bure Park, Yarmouth, on Saturday.

A two-month-old duck was battling to stay alive at the weekend after being hit by a dart in what rescuers have described as a "horrendous" attack.

The seven-inch piece of sporting equipment was still embedded in its face, having gone in just under its eye, when the bird was picked up by animal workers near a lake at Bure Park, Yarmouth, on Saturday.

Bev Cosse, from the Seal and Bird Rescue Trust, said the dart had skewered the duck's mouth closed, meaning it was nearly starving when it was spotted by a passer-by.

She said: "It's been like that for about nine days we think and it hasn't been able to eat. It's so badly emaciated - you could shave with its breast bone.

"The dart is six or seven inches long. It was buried in the bird's face about four inches deep. It's horrendous."

The animal is being cared for at the trust's centre in Ridlington, near North Walsham, and has had the dart removed and the wound cleaned.

Mrs Cosse, the trust's chairman, said the next 48 hours would determine whether it survived or not.

She said: "As long as we get it eating and drinking in the next 48 hours, and no deep infection sets in, we will be able to save the little critter."

The duck will be kept at the rescue centre until the end of the summer to make sure it recovers properly.

Workers plan to report the attack to the police and urged anyone with information to contact officers.

Mrs Cosse said there was no way it had been an accident. She said: "This is deliberate, absolutely deliberate. Somebody had to know how to throw a dart to do that.

"Whoever the person is that did it is disgusting. It's someone who is cruel enough to throw something like this at a totally defenceless, very young, mallard duck."

The trust has heard reports of similar attacks elsewhere in Norfolk but said this one was far worse than any it had seen before.

The trust chairman said: "This is a blatant case of shocking cruelty."

To report an attack to the Seal and Bird Rescue Trust call 01692 650338.

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