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And they call it ducky love! GOOD NEWS: Geoff, the mallard, puts attack behind him by finding a new mate.

Byline: By Ben Griffin

A DUCK which has been living with a crossbow bolt in his neck for more than a year has found love.

The plucky duck has been spotted with the bolt in his neck on a number of occasions in Coventry and Warwickshire since March last year.

Last week the Evening Telegraph published a poignant picture of the duck, named Geoff by RSPCA officials, as they appealed for help tracing the attackers.

They have been out dozens of times to try to rescue the mallard. But every time they get near him he flies away.

But now it appears the bolt has been no bar to the tough duck leading

a normal life.

A spokeswoman at the Nuneaton Wildlife Sanctuary, in Oaston Road, said that the last time Geoff was seen he was with a female mate and they may be nesting.

She added that he could have found a new pond with his mate and that is why he's not been seen recently.

Geoff has previously been seen in Swanswell Park, Hillfields, Coventry, the Coventry Canal, between Coventry and Bedworth, and Marston Lane, Bedworth.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said Geoff would be reluctant to go near humans after the attack, making rescue difficult.

She added that despite the bolt, he was in good condition and was a fighter.

And she added: "We want to again appeal for witnesses to try and find the culprits and deal with them accordingly."

Police say anybody successfully prosecuted for shooting or injuring wildlife could face a fine of up to pounds 5,000.

Anyone with any information about the whereabouts of Geoff or of any similar attacks should contact either the RSPCA on 08705 555999 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 21, 2006
Words:289
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