ONLOOKERS were shocked to see a duck with what appears to be a crossbow bolt through its neck waddling around.

The injured bird has been spotted a number of times in and around the RSPB nature reserve at Radipole Lake.

It appears to have a short dart or bolt through its neck.

Staff at the charity's visitor centre were made aware of the injured male mallard duck and are working with a local wildlife rescue team to try and locate the bird and treat it for its injuries.

Anton Adams, 55, from Weymouth was walking his dog Fred early on Wednesday morning when he spotted the bird next to Radipole Lake underneath Swannery Bridge. The bird has since been spotted in the nearby nature reserve.

Mr Adams said the bird was just sitting on the wall.

Mr Adams said: “It looks like the bolt must have gone through the side of its neck. If it had gone through the throat, it would have been dead by now.”

He added: “First of all I couldn’t work out what it was. I thought it was a pencil – I didn’t know what it was. I looked a bit closer and saw what it was and took a picture.”

It is not known how the bird sustained its injuries but Mr Adams said he hoped whoever was responsible would see the picture in the Echo and 'feel guilty' about what they had done.

The duck has since been seen around the nature reserve by walkers.

Claire Young from the RSPB Radipole Lake said that although the charity does not have the capacity for wildlife rescue, they are closely monitoring the situation and working closely with a local wildlife rescue team to locate and help the bird.

She said: “He has been seen around the reserve and we have been looking for him to see if we can rescue it.”

Ms Young said that volunteers and staff had been trying to help find and catch it.

She added it was ‘horrible’ that the duck had been injured.