AN injured ibis with a large arrow protruding from its body from a “cowardly” attack is continuing to evade its would-be rescuers in Wangaratta.
Yesterday the Department of Environment and Primary Industries released a photo of the bird.
Department wildlife officers said they were “very keen” to hear from anyone who knew of where the bird could be found.
Equally, they would like details about the actual shooting, which is illegal under the Wildlife Act 1975.
Department senior compliance officer Leigh Murray said the bird had been seen in Wangaratta for the past few days.
“It is a cowardly act to shoot any animal and leave it to suffer,” he said.
The department is working with RSPCA inspectors to search for the injured straw-necked ibis.
Mr Murray said officers wanted to find the bird to “stop any further unnecessary suffering”.
“We have been able to get within 30 metres of the animal, however, it remains a strong flier and remains on the move,” he said.
“We believe the arrow has come from either a compound bow or recurve bow, and not a crossbow, as the arrow is quite large.”
Mr Murray said the straw-necked ibis was a beautiful native waterfowl and also a protected species.
“Ibis are fully protected in all states and territories, and must not be shot,” he said.
“When we can get close enough to the animal, we will assess it and take the most humane approach we can.”
Wildlife officers can be contacted by phoning 136 186.
Information can be provided anonymously.