Miracle Duck: Just Don't Call Him Lucky

Bird shot five times with crossbow

By Eric S. Page
|  Friday, Oct 16, 2009  |  Updated 4:31 AM PDT
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An Attack Most Fowl

An X-ray of the bird showed its horrible wounds.

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This duck survived being shot by five crossbow arrows, so you might be tempted to name him "Lucky." Don't.

"In veterinary circles, naming things 'Lucky' often doesn't pan out," said Dr. Exotic, aka Jeff Jenkins, the veterinarian treating the Muscovy duck at Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital in Mission Valley, near San Diego.

Jenkins performed surgery on the eight-pound duck Wednesday to remove the five arrows and said the duck has had a remarkable recovery. Jenkins hopes the, um, fortunate duck will be released from the hospital by the weekend -- although it still has some rehab ahead of it. Several people have offered to care for it, but San Diego County Animal Services will ultimately decide what is done with the duck.

"Our little duck friend ... is doing well," a message on the hospital's Facebook page read. "He's showing some interest in food but has not eaten yet. I expect him to do pretty well." It was not clear who authored the message.

Vets say the duck still vulnerable to infection, a common problem with arrow wounds. And while no bones were broken, Jenkins said he may not be able to save the duck's right eye.

Since the animal is so friendly, Jenkins believes it is a feral domestic duck.

"My guess is somebody let him go," Jenkins said.

The Muscovy duck -- a domesticated species that has the ability to fly -- was attacked at Chollas Lake, according to San Diego County Animal Services. The vet thinks the friendly bird just walked up to its attacker, since he suspects the duck was shot at short range.

"Whoever did this cowardly and malicious act needs to be brought to justice," said Dawn Danielson, director of the County Department of Animal Services.

Officials are trying to find the perpetrator of the fowl attack. Anyone with information should call 619-767-2624. If caught, a shooter could face felony animal abuse charges, which could carry prison time as well as a fine.

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