Police in Pinxton are reminding people about the responsible use of air weapons after a mother duck was injured after being hit with a pellet.
The duck was spotted with an injury to her beak and head by a local resident at Wharf pond on Tuesday, May 7.
She was rescued, along with her 12 ducklings, by the RSPCA who have been caring for the birds.
Police have also received reports of other wildlife being shot at by air weapons in the same area.
PCSO Marion Jeffery of the South Normanton and Pinxton Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Air weapons are not toys and the pellets fired from them can cause serious harm to humans and wildlife if they are used recklessly or irresponsibly.
“It is an offence for any person without lawful authority or reasonable excuse to have an air weapon in a public place, whether loaded or not. All wild animals are also protected by law under the Wildlife and Countryside act.”
PCSO Jeffery added: “We take these reports very seriously and officers will take appropriate action against anyone found to be breaking the law.
“I would urge anyone with information about these incidents to contact us.”
Carrying an air weapon, including some BB guns, in a public place is an offence which could result in a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison.
Anyone with information about the incidents should contact Derbyshire police on 101, the non emergency number, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.