Mallard rescued after “someone pointed down and shot at it’
- Credit: Graham Porter
Waterfowl supporter Graham Porter undertook a 60-mile round trip to rescue a mallard that had been shot in a Fenland river.
“It was obvious that someone and pointed down and shot at it,” said Mr Porter.
“It was a beautiful white mallard.”
His recently formed Waterfowl Sanctuary stepped in to help after the mallard seen at Upwell.
“We were called to help as she was seen sitting on her own with a wing sadly hanging in a manner consistent with a broken humerus,” he said.
“She was remarkably quick and agile considering but with a person on each side of the river and myself in the canoe she was kept in the water until I could net her.”
Mr Porter said that after close examination and the use of a sensitive metal scanner “it became apparent that she had been shot from above.
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“I could see the small entry hole and something metallic was lodged at the elbow joint.
“It's quite worrying and upsetting to think that someone is walking along this public river bank with a gun taking pot shots at the wildlife.”
Mr Porter said the mallard was taken for an x-ray “which confirmed our thoughts”.
A local vet operated on the mallard and removed the .22 air rifle pellet.
“Laura, our lovely vet, stitched her up; thankyou Laura,” he said.
Mr Porter said the mallard had been named Wallis after Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bouncing bomb.
“Wallis will not fly again as the break is severe but once the re-aligned bone pieces harden, she will at least get to retain her wing and live comfortably here,” he said.
“We named her Wallis due to her evasive ducking and diving which was remarkable considering her injury.
“Barnes is also appropriate as that's one of the locations for the excellent Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust that also has a site in Welney Marsh, close to where this beautiful duck lived.”
Mr Porter is chair/trustee of the waterfowl centre that is based in Godmanchester.
He said the charity was looking to expand with more volunteers and supporters needed.
He hopes, eventually, the charity can support its own veterinary service.