Lucky duck returns to wild with new clan

Posted: Sunday, December 21, 2003

LUBBOCK, Texas Who is the duck who can take an arrow through the neck?

Shaft. Right on.

Shaft, a female domestic duck found with an arrow through her neck at Lake Ransom Canyon in Texas, returned to her cove at Party Island after a full recuperation.

The duck received treatment at South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Texas before being released back into the wild.

But she came away with more than a battle scar. The white bird took with her 11 orphaned Muscovy ducklings that she had adopted at the center.

"This is just a great story all the way around," said Debbie Tennyson, manager of the center. "It was such a neat story with a neat ending."

Tennyson said the duck was named Shaft after the wound she received from the arrow. Amazingly, the arrow punctured no organs and kept the duck from bleeding to death. The bird lived with the arrow through its neck for two or three weeks before it was rescued.

Now, the wound is healed and hard to find, Tennyson said. Shaft was eager to get back into her cove.

"She's got a mate out there," Tennyson said. "She just immediately started paddling away, and the babies followed after her one by one."

It's not unusual for birds to adopt young that are not their own, Tennyson said. It was good to see the bird paddle back to her habitat, said Ransom Canyon Police Officer James Hill. Hill found the bird on the island after getting a call from a fisher, he said.

Since the story broke, many residents of the canyon have called to check on the bird's condition and inquire about its release.

"A lot of people take it personally when people injure the wildlife out there," Hill said.

The bird's injury is under investigation, he said.

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