Opossum Shot With Crossbow Arrows Through Head And Body Survives Miraculously [Graphic Photos]

A male opossum found by Riverside County Animal Services officials with two crossbow arrows through its body survived miraculously after veterinarians performed an emergency surgery to remove the arrows. The first arrow penetrated the animal near its right eye and exited at the other side of the head. The second arrow pierced the animal on its right side and penetrated the left side of its body.

Riverside County Animal Services officials have started an animal cruelty investigation and have sought the help of residents to identify the person responsible for the atrocity.

Riverside County Animal Services spokesperson John Welsh, said the animal was found on Friday, January 22, 2016, at an intersection near Hole and Jones avenues in the La Sierra neighborhood of Riverside, according to CBS Los Angeles.


It was found struggling ineffectively to remove the arrow that passed through its body. It was not known for how long the animal had been carrying the arrows in its body before it was found.

A resident saw the animal and called the Riverside County Animal Services. Officials responded promptly and found the animal after the caller gave details of its location.


Animal services officers said they were amazed to find that the animal was alive after being shot through the head and body with arrows.

Welsh said in a news release that the “crossbow arrows” hit the marsupial on the right side of its face near the eye and passed through to the other side. The other arrow struck the poor animal on the right side of its body.


According to Sgt. Cynthia Lee with the animal services, “[The opossum] was very alert and you could tell it was trying to remove the arrows itself. [It] was grabbing the arrow on its side. What a horrible thing to do to an animal.”

Animal Control Officer Jennifer Selter rushed the opossum to the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley where veterinary surgeons performed an emergency surgical operation to remove the arrows.

The arrows were successfully removed from the animal’s body by staff veterinarian Dr. Magid Anwar. According to Dr. Anwar, the opossum suffered some damage to its lung tissues, but he said the injuries were not life-threatening and that he expected it to survive.

The opossum is now recovering at the animal hospital, officials said.

“It’s amazing that our veterinary team managed to remove the arrows and the animal appears to be recovering well,” Selter told CBS Los Angeles.

The Riverside County Animal Services later released disturbing images of the animal named “Robin” by hospital staff.

The images show Robin before and after the life-saving surgical operation. Officials also released images of the arrows cut in half in the process of removing them from the animal’s head and body.

Animal Services Director Robert Miller described the shooting as callous and despicable. He said animal services officials were investigating the incident to identify the shooter.

“This is a sick act. No animal, whether it’s a domesticated dog or cat, or a part of our wildlife, deserves to be treated in such a cruel manner,” he said.

“Anyone who has any information about who might have done this are encouraged to contact us,” he added.

Welsh told the Los Angeles Times, “To do this is just sick. The animal was suffering and in a lot of pain.”

“Pet owners who allow their dogs or cats outside should be made aware of this incident.”

He asked anyone with information about the incident to contact Riverside County Animal Services.

“Pet owners who allow their dogs or cats outside should be made aware of this incident,” he added.

Officials said the animal would be moved to a rehabilitation center from where it will transition back to the wild.

[Image via Johnruble/Wikimedia/Public Domain]

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