A mother duck has been swimming around for two days with a crossbow dart sticking out of her body after she was cruelly shot while nursing her chicks.
The injured mallard was filmed swimming on a waterway with the one-foot-long arrow in the side of her body - as animal rescue teams tried desperately to save her.
Jennifer Quinn, from The Wildlife Alliance, said the female duck had been pierced with the sharp dart on Tuesday (June 6) at Barmston Drain, Hull, East Yorks.
She had tried to catch the fowl with colleagues from her charity the next day but hadn't been able to get close to it due to the river's very high banks.
And she said RSCPA officers and fire crews who later attended the scene also couldn't bring the bird to safety.
Jennifer said the mother duck was known to local people and had heartbreakingly given birth to her babies before she was attacked.
She said: “It would have happened on Tuesday as she was seen in the morning without the dart.
“There are a lot of people that make their way home that way, and they have watched her. She’s got duckling with her.
“We went first thing in the morning the next day. We located her and tried to get a plan together, but the drain itself is completely closed off, and it is not safe.
“It’s a long expanse of water, there’s about a 20ft drop down to it. It’s almost vertical. We wanted to get a boat from Argos to rescue her but the police wouldn’t let us.
“The fire brigade came down, but they said they couldn’t send men down for a duck.”
Jennifer said she didn’t know who could be responsible for the barbaric attack, but said there were often many youths hanging around the waterway.
She added: “There’s a lot of kids that hang out there. There is concrete which is covered in graffiti.
There is a lot going on around that area, but it could have been anybody.
“The wildlife conservation officer has been informed and the RSPCA are doing their own investigation.”
The RSPCA and Humberside Fire & Rescue Service have been contacted for comment.