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BARBARIC; Crossbow thug injures duck and may have fired at boy.

Byline: By AIDAN McGURRAN

A DUCK swims with a 10ins crossbow bolt in its back after being shot by a thug who is also thought to have fired at a boy.

The female mallard is still able to fly and has so far managed to evade rescuers. The bolt's serial number is the same as on an arrow that narrowly missed a 12-year-old boy as he played in a nearby park in Fakenham, Norfolk.

Police believe the same person is responsible for both attacks. A crossbow was later found abandoned in the town.

Sophie Wilkinson of the RSPCA said: "This duck appears to be the victim of an act of barbaric cruelty. The bird is still mobile despite having this bolt in its back.

"But we are concerned for it because of the danger that its wound might become infected." Police said: "The boy was extremely lucky the bolt missed him. He could easily have been seriously injured or killed.

"We are concerned about the welfare of the duck. We are also anxious to recover the bolt so it can be compared with the one found near the boy."

RSPCA inspectors will try again to catch the duck on the River Wensum.

CAPTION(S):

WOUNDED: Mallard with bolt in back; DANGER: Crossbow
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 25, 2005
Words:212
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