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Fun Hunters Using Crossbows And Arrows On Animals

Police in Austria are hunting cruel animal haters who did this to a defenceless duck.

This duck was rescued from a pond near Graz after being shot at with a crossbow.

When it did not die - and flew off with the bolt in its body - the hunters downed it with a rifle bullet so they could retrieve their weapon.

But the plucky duck, nicknamed Daffy by rescuers, refused to die. He was spotted by walker Maria Sommer, 55, who called a local animal rescue centre.

She said: "The duck was bobbing helplessly on the water. I couldn't get to it alone, so I called rescuers.

"It seems the duck was shot at deliberately. A lot of youngsters hang around by the pond in the evenings. It could be they thought it was fun target practise."

When the staff from the centre arrived they rescued the animal and found a 70 cm bolt through its body.

The animal was taken to the local Noah's Ark Animal refuge centre where the bolt was removed in an operation. When the bird was x-rayed, they also found the bullet in the body.

Police say the duck was deliberately shot at and are now looking for the animal haters responsible.

A police officer investigating the scene said: "We are looking for people who we believe may be responsible for numerous animal cruelty acts in the region of late.

"It is clear the duck was deliberately shot. Not only was there the bolt through its body, but also a pellet from a gun. It seems the duck was being used as target practice."

This week police in Vienna warned of an increase in the cases of poachers using crossbows or bow and arrows, the use of which for hunting is forbidden throughout Austria.

They suspect it is being carried out "for fun" and say in the space of a year, it is believed that five deer have been killed in the Floridsdorf and Brigittenau areas of the city, including fawns and does - suggesting that the hunter is not a trophy hunter.

"In two deer we are pretty sure that they have been hunted with bow and arrow, because they had the appropriate injuries," says Leopold Andra, the District Hunter, adding that many arrows have also been found in the area.

The poacher, or poachers, hunt under the cover of darkness and after shooting the animal, then leave it to die painfully. Many stumble on for a few yards after being shot and lose the arrows in the process of trying to escape.

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