A blow dart through the neck hasn't kept a Lake Sacajawea duck from doing its duck business of swimming and flying — and steering clear of well-meaning humans who want to help the injured bird.
According to Longview Parks Supervisor Curt Nedved, worried citizens began calling the city June 20 about a duck with a needle-like dart several inches long piercing its slender neck.
"We have tried to catch the duck multiple times, but it is still very capable of flying and swimming," Nedved said Wednesday.
Humane Society employees haven't been able to capture the wounded waterfowl, either.
"We have chased that duck from one of the lake to the other. Every time we get close, it goes in the water and off to the other side," said Humane Society Executive Director Rick Johnson, adding that the agency will continue trying to catch it.
The duck is usually seen with a group of others just north of the Hemlock Plaza playground equipment, said Castle Rock resident Bob Hawley, who photographed the duck Sunday while walking his dog.
"Poor guy, I didn't know what to do," said Hawley, 60. "Those things come up to people like they're buddies, and here's some yayhoo standing there with a 20-cent dart gun trying to prove how manly they are. It irritates me."
Hawley called the Humane Society and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, but neither agency responded, he said.
Longview resident Hope Wilson said she sat on the lake's banks "a long time" earlier this week with several other people trying to lure the duck with bread. A local veterinary clinic has agreed to remove the dart if someone brings in the bird, she said Wednesday.
"That's gotta be painful. It's clear through its neck. It's just sad," said Wilson, 34. "I don't even know who would've done that, but it's just cruel."
Hawley predicted that the duck would die from infection because the lake's water is "like a Petri dish" for breeding bacteria.
He hopes local authorities will step up their attempts to trap the bird.
"Get serious," he said. "If they can catch a grizzly bear, for God's sakes, they can catch a duck."