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Suburban duck 'left to suffer' after being shot with lightweight arrow

The SPCA is hunting for the culprit after a duck was shot in an Auckland suburb with a bow and arrow "not suitable for hunting".

A duck found by the SPCA after being shot by an arrow in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland. Source: Supplied

The duck was "left to suffer" after being shot in Blockhouse Bay earlier this month, the SPCA says.

Its neck and shoulder were punctured by the arrow, which lodged in its body.

The SPCA says the duck was "suffering high levels of pain and distress" and died from its injuries after developing an infection, despite receiving vet treatment.

"The duck, pictured, was found in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland, suggesting that the arrow was shot in a suburban area, possibly also placing the public and pets at risk," the SPCA said today.

The arrow had a black Easton XX75 Tribute shaft, an aluminium shaft described by Easton as being designed for "any beginner or shorter draw lighter poundage archer".

"This is apparently a popular type of arrow (the model has become popular since the Hunger Games movies) and this one is custom-made," an SPCA inspector told 1 NEWS.

"Unfortunately, although it has a serial number, no record is kept (or required to be kept) for who these weapons are sold to. 

"The arrow was customised; the fletching was not the standard factory type for the model, meaning the owner probably purchased shaft and vanes separately and built it themselves."

The x-ray of a duck shot by an arrow in Auckland. Source: Supplied

It's an arrow type "not suitable for hunting", according to both the SPCA and local equipment retailer Archery Warehouse.

Owner James Kinnear says it's a very popular arrow type for target shooters.

It's designed to be fired by a low poundage bow, around 20 lbs to 24 lbs. 

In comparison, he says the minimum legal poundage for hunting in New Zealand is 35 lbs, with the arrows needing a "much stiffer spine and broad head".

"It’s very sad to hear about this incident. We do not condone this behaviour and we are working through our records to see if we can identify any archers using this type of arrow," he says.

As well as dedicated archery retailers, the arrows are also sold online - both new and second-hand - on websites such as Trade Me and Facebook, Kinnear says.

"My guess is that this duck was shot by youngsters and their parents are not aware of them using the bow in this way."

Tracing the shooter by the arrow has been "difficult for our inspectors", the SPCA says.

"Although arrows are classified as offensive weapons under the Crimes Act 1961, they can be used without a licence and are not required to be registered."

The SPCA says it's in touch with one of the two main archery retailers in the area, which is helping with their inquiries.

Local archery club Mountain Green, which shoots at nearby Mt Albert, has also shared an appeal for help to its members.

"This isn't what our sport is about and I am shocked and very sad to see an instance of an archer pointing a bow at another living creature outside of licensed hunting," club president Kelly Atkinson wrote on Facebook today.

Anyone with information is asked to call the SPCA inspectors on (09) 256 7300.