A DUCK was shot with a crossbow bolt missing his vital organs by just millimetres.

The community of Whitchurch has been left appalled after the mallard was discovered swimming near the Silk Mill with the bolt stuck right through his body.

Residents spent three days unsuccessfully trying to catch him, before enlisting the help of charity Swan Support, based in Datchet.

Wendy Hermon, operations director for the charity, said they used nets to catch the duck on Thursday before taking him in to remove the bolt.

“He had an X-Ray and it has missed his organs by millimetres,” she said, adding: “I thought he would die once it was removed but he’s doing well, he’s a very lucky duck. We are hoping to take him back in the middle of next week. He’s on antibiotics.”

She added: “It’s disgusting. It absolutely disgusts me whoever did this has left that poor duck to suffer. It managed to fly, how it did that with that stuck in it I don’t know. It would have been in a lot of pain. It was right through its body.”

Marie Colgrave, catering operations manager at Whitchurch Silk Mill, first discovered the duck last Monday and said everyone in the town is shocked by the incident.

The 39-year-old mother-of-one told the Advertiser: “Someone has absolutely done this on purpose. It’s horrendous. I really don’t understand why someone would do this, it’s quite scary that someone is capable of doing that. I just can’t believe they could be so heartless.”

Marie said the duck spent its time with a female mallard, and it is hoped he will be reunited with her next week once he has recovered.

She added: “The whole of Whitchurch is rooting for him. He’s a popular duck.”

Wendy said that sadly the incident is not unusual, and the charity often takes in water birds that have been injured on purpose.

“It’s a common occurrence,” she said, adding: “We have had geese with arrows in them. And it’s not just what they have done to the duck, it’s using a lethal weapon in public.”

She said she will be reporting the incident to the police.