WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A duck has been put down after suffering "catastrophic" injuries thanks to a deliberate act of cruelty involving fireworks, the SPCA says.
SPCA Auckland is urgently appealing to the public for information after the young mallard was found today in the carpark at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital.
"The duck was found still alive and in extreme pain," the SPCA said. "Her beak was destroyed and she had suffered a degloving injury. Due to the nature of the injuries, the vets believe the incident happened two to three days ago."
The injuries were irreparable, the SPCA said. "The kindest thing we could do was end her suffering."
SPCA vets were almost certain the injuries were the result of a deliberate act of cruelty.
"The injuries can only have been caused by a firework, likely purposely put in the duck's mouth, or picked up by the duck," the SPCA said.
"SPCA Auckland is completely horrified by this act of cruelty inflicted upon an animal."
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said investigators were actively looking into the case and want anyone with information to come forward.
"Terrible pain and suffering has been inflicted on an innocent duck and it is important that those responsible for this cruelty are held accountable so it doesn't happen again," Midgen said.
"This is absolutely appalling and only further highlights why the private sales of fireworks need to be banned. They are dangerous and can be deadly, and put animals out there at risk.
"Our aim is to allow people to enjoy controlled public displays only, to avoid causing fear, injury and disruption for animals."
Anyone with information on the case can call SPCA Auckland on (09) 256 7300.