A crossbow attack on a 10-year-old mare, which left her with an arrow embedded 10 centimetres into her nose, has been labelled a callous and brutal act of cruelty by the British RSPCA.
The charity is determined to track down the person responsible for the attack on Bambi, a 10-year-old chestnut mare.
Bambi is now recovering at home in her stable, but her horrified owners remain upset at the thought of someone wandering their area “brandishing a dangerous weapon”.
Investigators say the 20-inch arrow, known as a bolt, was most likely fired from a crossbow.
The injured Bambi was spotted in her field, near Broad Car Road, in Hoyland, Barnsley, by a concerned member of the public on Monday around 7pm
The person contacted the RSPCA, which sent Inspector Joanne Taylor.
However, Taylor was not able to get near Bambi without causing her further distress.
Bambi was already spooking and bolting, as a result of having the arrow in her nose, and she kept knocking it, causing herself more pain.
Taylor called out a vet, who assessed Bambi from a distance and concluded it was safe to leave her until the owners arrived, as to catch her would cause her more anxiety.
A note was left for the owners, and they returned to the field later that evening.
They managed to catch Bambi and she was examined again by a vet and the arrow was cropped. She was then taken to the Churchfield Veterinary Centre’s equine unit at Penistone the next day.
Bambi was x-rayed and it revealed that the arrow had gone in to her sinus about four inches deep.
It was removed and her puncture wound was stitched up.
She was taken home and given stable rest.
Vet Bill Black said Bambi was extremely lucky that the arrow had not struck her in the forehead as she would have been dead.
Taylor said: “This was a horrific and deliberate act of animal cruelty on a defenceless animal.
“The arrow had caused Bambi so much distress, every time she moved she banged it causing her more pain and it really unnerved her, you could tell she was terrified by what had happened.
“We believe this arrow bolt is likely to have been fired from a crossbow, the bolt had one red and two yellow quills on it.
“I am keen to hear from anyone who has any information regarding this incident to call me immediately on the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”