A pigeon was found in agony after being impaled by a crossbow bolt.

The distressed and mortally wounded wild bird was spotted by a householder in Willow Road, Enfield, on Monday (August 28). She contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to help the injured animal.  

The pigeon sadly had to be put to sleep because of the severity of its injuries, leading the charity to launch an appeal to protect wild animals. 

RSPCA inspector Chris McGreal said: “This was a shocking act of cruelty. The poor bird was alive and in agony with the crossbow bolt lodged in his body. This appears to have been a barbaric and deliberate act which caused the pigeon significant pain.

Enfield Independent: A pigeon impaled by a crossbow is treated by RSPCA vetsA pigeon impaled by a crossbow is treated by RSPCA vets (Image: RSPCA)

“I’m also concerned that if someone is capable of this they may target other wildlife or even pets. There is also a real danger that a person could have been seriously injured as this is a residential area."

The animal charity has reported a 14% rise in intentional harm to animals in 2022, compared to 2021, as part of its annual Cancel Out Cruelty campaign.  

Enfield Independent: The crossbow bolt was shot through the pigeon, which sadly diedThe crossbow bolt was shot through the pigeon, which sadly died (Image: RSPCA)

The charity also recently unveiled new figures relating to the use of deadly weapons, including crossbows, on animals over the past four years, which showed that since the beginning of 2020 up to May this year, the RSPCA received 808 reports relating to animals being intentionally harmed with a weapon.

Air guns and rifles were responsible for the bulk of the incidents, with 658 reports made to the charity; but weapons such as catapults and slingshots accounted for a combined 124 incidents while there were 34 calls to the RSPCA about crossbow incidents. 

Chris added: "I am now appealing for anyone with information about this incident or knows anyone who possesses or uses a crossbow in the area to call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.  All calls are strictly confidential.”