A duck that was found with a metal-tipped dart piercing its neck in Orange County is now on the road to recovery.
The injured mallard was spotted swimming in a lake in Newport Beach but flew away from an animal control officer who tried to capture it on a boat, the Newport Beach Police Department said. Officers with the Costa Mesa Police Department saw the duck the next day about half a mile away and were able to catch it.
Veterinarians at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center then took the duck in. An X-ray showed the dart had narrowly missed the mallard’s trachea.
“He was pretty distressed. He was open-mouth breathing, which we associate with stress and with pain,” veterinarian Elizabeth Wood said.
The veterinarians gave the duck some pain medication and took the dart out, giving the animal some instant relief.
The duck is on pain medication and antibiotics, but he’s eating well and is expected to make a full recovery after an upcoming surgery.
“He is a very lucky guy,” Wood said.
The NBPD is investigating the incident as a case of animal cruelty and illegal hunting. Anyone with information is asked to contact NBPD animal control officer Nick Ott at 949-644-3688 ext. 2716 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: NBC Los Angeles
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