A duck has been put to sleep after being "critically injured" by a ball bearing believed to have been fired using a catapult.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) was called to Delves Retirement Home, in Delves Road, Lewes, on Tuesday when the distressed duck was spotted on the ground.

The rescue service's ambulance attended the incident and rescuer Julie Stafford captured the injured bird.

READ MORE: People express sadness over potential closure of much-loved shop

She said: "The bird was visibly hurt and unable to stand, so we quickly transported it back to our casualty centre."

The duck was then examined and was found to have had a fractured right leg and abdominal wound.

An x-ray revealed a ball bearing inside the duck, believed to have been fired by a catapult.

The duck had to be put to sleep.

Trevor Weeks, East Sussex WRAS founder, said: "The duck likely endured over 48 hours of suffering looking at the extensive tissue damage, which must have been extremely painful.

"The bird must have been hit in the local area around the home or recreation ground as it was not able to stand and walk nor fly.”

Sussex Police is investigating the incident and anyone with information should report this using reference 0725 of March 19.