WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A duck shot in the head at Silver Lake with a blow dart is expected to make a full recovery.
Renee Dumont lives on the lake in the Silva Terra community and was quick to notice something wasn’t right with one of the ducks that commonly visits her yard for food.
Dumont observed one of the mallard ducks had an orange dart protruding from its head.
It was struggling to eat, but it could still fly, which made catching the bird a task that took more than dozen wildlife rescue volunteers.
“It was definitely heartbreaking to see him every day. I definitely tried to capture him myself multiple times but I was very unsuccessful because it was just me and he could still fly and he could still eat but you could obviously tell he was impaired because it was lodged—protruding from his beak,” said Dumont. “I knew someone had to rescue him or he was gonna probably die on this lake.”
Right away, the rescue volunteers noticed this bird wasn’t even supposed to be in Silver Lake in the first place. It’s a domestic duck, meaning it was someone’s pet at one time before it was released into the lake.
The duck never learned how to fend for itself. It’s bigger than the wild ducks too, meaning its harder for it to get away from predators.
Dumont says she believes someone targeted it intentionally because it was a lot bigger than the rest of the flock.
Volunteers at the rescue that saved the bird say they’ve gotten calls about animals injured by BB guns or blow darts before.
“It’s really upsetting because it’s one thing if you’re hunting, and that’s fine, but when you just injure the animal and it goes on suffering, that’s not OK. It’s really upsetting to see an injured animal and sometimes you just can’t help them,” said Skywatch Bird Rescue volunteer Jennifer Mishoe.
Hunting is not legal in Silver Lake. Neighbors have reported the incident to game wardens, who are asking people who live near the lake to keep an eye out for any more illegal activity.