Things are looking up for a wounded Lake Sacajawea duck that's had Longview animal lovers a-twitter.
Tuesday, city Parks Department workers finally captured the bird, which was first spotted more than a month ago with a 4.25-inch blow dart through its slender neck. The duck could still swim and fly, enabling it to evade multiple rescue attempts by citizens, the Humane Society and city workers.
After another failed rescue mission Monday evening, Longview Parks Supervisor Curt Nedved and two parks employees managed to nab the wily waterfowl with a fishing net first thing Tuesday morning.
"She swam into a bunch of the irises and thought she was hiding," Nedved said.
Once caught, the duck somehow thrust its head and the dart through a hole in the net. Nedved said he couldn't pull the bird's head back through the hole until he pulled the needle-like dart out of its neck.
"I didn't know if I should've done it or not, but at that point, I wasn't waiting," he said.
The puncture wound didn't bleed, said Nedved, who put the duck in a box and trucked it to VCA Ocean Beach Animal Hospital. The clinic previously had offered to treat the bird if it was caught.
The duck will undergo surgery Wednesday to remove a foreign object — possibly part of the dart's tip — from its neck, veterinary technician Rose Myers said.
"With the dart left in, we don't know how long the duck may have survived," Myers said Tuesday.
If the wound had become infected and the infection had spread, the duck could have died, she said.
But now, the duck's outlook is ducky. If its surgery and recovery go well, the animal hospital will ask the city's permission to return the bird to Lake Sacajawea — which could happen as early as this weekend, Myers said.