“A very lucky boy”: Duck with a dart in the neck in recovery

“A very lucky boy”: Duck with a dart in the neck in recovery

A duck found with a metal dart in its neck in Orange County is recovering.

Someone saw the duck swimming in a Newport Beach lake, but the bird flew away after an animal control officer tried to capture it using a boat, according to the Department of Newport Beach Police. Officers from the Costa Mesa Police Department saw the duck the next day, about half a mile from the lake, and were able to capture it.

He was taken to the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center, where an X-ray showed the dart had just missed his trachea.

“I was very distraught. He was breathing with his mouth open, which we associate with stress and pain,” veterinarian Elizabeth Wood said.

The vets gave him painkillers and removed the dart, which gave him instant relief.

The duck is still on painkillers, as well as antibiotics, but he is eating well and should make a full recovery from impending surgery.

“He’s a very lucky guy,” Wood said.

The Newport Beach Police Department is investigating the incident as a case of animal cruelty and illegal hunting. Anyone with information is asked to contact Agent Nick Ott by calling 949-644-3688, ext. 2716, or emailing nott@nbpd.org.

Ashley Johnson
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