RAMONA, Calif. - A wild turkey with an arrow in its chest was safely captured Tuesday morning in the San Diego Country Estates area near Ramona.
The turkey, which was lovingly named Archer by area residents, was taken to the Acacia Animal Health Center in Escondido, where veterinarians successfully removed the arrow Tuesday afternoon.
"Pretty unusual, I have to say," said Carrie Bone, D.V.M. of the Acacia Animal Health Center.
Bone showed 10News X-rays of the arrow through the bird's chest.
"First of all, it had to be painful when it happened, and second of all, it just has got to restrict his movement," she said.
Bone said Archer was lucky because the arrow didn't break any bones or damage any organs.
The turkey was first discovered a month ago with an arrow through its chest. The arrow appeared to enter the bird in its lower back and protruded through its chest. However, cellphone video taken by a San Diego Country Estates resident showed the turkey moving around and eating just fine.
There was concern the turkey would develop a fatal disease or bacteria from the arrow. However, the bird was spotted walking around without much problem for weeks.
Witnesses told 10News Archer was finally captured by Fish & Game officials Tuesday morning using a net gun. Those same witnesses said he was wrapped in a blanket like a baby and taken to the hospital.
Bone said she was hopeful for a recovery but admitted the bird wasn't doing well.
"I mean, he is walking around and eating and everything, but he's very skinny and I think it is affecting him," she said before removing the arrow.
Archer will stay at Acacia for a couple of days before moving to Project Wildlife, which will hopefully nurture the turkey back to health.
No one knows when or where the turkey was shot. Wild turkeys roam the San Diego Country Estates, and hunting them is legal in certain parts of the county and with a permit.
Residents kept tabs on the bird but could never corner him to get him help.
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