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Injured duck's got a mate now; SIGHTED: Mallard still has crossbow bolt.

Byline: By Ben Griffin

A DUCK that has lived for more than a year with a crossbow bolt in its neck has been spotted again in Coventry - with a new mate.

Evening Telegraph reader Jeff Shirley saw the mallard - christened Geoff by RSPCA officials -waddling alongside the River Sherbourne near Holyhead Road, Coundon.

The 63-year-old, who works at B&Q in Holyhead Road, recognised Geoff after reading about him in the Evening Telegraph.

So the following day he took his camera in the hope he would spot Geoff again and, sure enough, the duck was back at the river.

Mr Shirley, of Denbigh Road, Coundon, said: "He was OK. He's got a mate now' they were both waddling along.

"As I got near them he flew off. He doesn't seem in any pain or distress."

RSPCA officials have previously appealed for help tracing the people who attacked the duck, which is believed to have been shot in March last year.

They have tried to rescue it and remove the bolt several times, but Geoff is so scared of humans, he always flies away.

He has previously been seen in Swanswell Park, Hillfields' along Coventry Canal, between Coventry and Bedworth, and in Marston Lane, Bedworth.

Anyone convicted of shooting or injuring wildlife can face a fine of up to pounds 5,000.

Incidents can be reported to the RSPCA on 08705 555999.

CAPTION(S):

MUST FLY... Jeff managed to get this quick snap
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 8, 2006
Words:242
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