Injured mallard shot with crossbow in Derbyshire

The RSPCA has warned the public to watch out for illegal hunting after a duck was found with a crossbow bolt in its breast in Derbyshire.

The bolt passed right through the mallard crossbreed duck's body, but it has made a good recovery.

It was released back into a pond at Riverside Gardens in Belper on Monday.

RSPCA inspector Graeme Petty said the duck was found injured five days ago, but has recovered after treatment with antibiotics.

Park warden Steve Jopp said: "It was found in a lot of distress because… one of its wings was pegged to its side - but the RSCPA were out within the hour."

Mr Petty said: "We caught the bird and immediately took it to a local vet. Thankfully, the type of bolt that it is - there aren't any barbs in it so it was simply a case of slowly, carefully pulling it out."

The RSPCA warned that anyone shooting birds without a valid licence could face a six-month prison sentence or a £5,000 fine.

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