A LUCKY duck who was shot through his body with a crossbow bolt has been reunited with his female companion much to the delight of residents who had been rooting for him to survive.

As previously reported, the mallard was discovered swimming near the Whitchurch Silk Mill with a bolt lodged right through his body.

Residents spent three days unsuccessfully trying to catch him, before enlisting the help of charity Swan Support, based in Datchet who managed to catch the duck and take him in to remove the bolt.

Volunteers were unsure if the duck would make it but were amazed to find the bolt had missed his vital organs by just millimetres, and miraculously the duck survived.

After almost a week recovering, the duck was returned to his home in Whitchurch on Wednesday, where residents gathered to watch him released back into the water to be with his mate.

Wendy Hermon, operations director for Swan Support, said: “I thought he would die once the bolt was removed. He’s a very lucky duck.”

She added: “It was amazing releasing him back and it was nice to have a happy ending.

“When he got in the water, he was calling his mate it was so sweet. There were a few people watching and they all cheered when he came out. I can’t believe how famous that duck has become. Everyone was rooting for him to get better.”

Marie Colgrave, who first discovered the injured duck, caught the moment he was returned home on camera and described it as “exciting”.

However, she was disgusted that someone could injure the bird on purpose in the first place, telling the Advertiser: “It absolutely disgusts me whoever did this has left that poor duck to suffer.”

The 39-year-old catering operations manager at Whitchurch Silk Mill, added: “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.”

The mother-of-one said the town had been rooting for the duck to make a full recovery, adding: “He had quite a homecoming, some of the local residents had come to welcome him back. He couldn’t get out of the carrier quick enough.

“There was a massive round of applause when he landed in the water. He started calling for his lady friend straight away.”

Marie thanked Swan Support for rescuing and treating the duck, saying: “All in all, it was a happy ending he was a very lucky duck.”