updated 1/20/2007 6:31:54 PM ET 2007-01-20T23:31:54

Neither gunfire nor two days in a refrigerator could slay this duck.

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When the wife of the hunter who shot it opened the refrigerator door, the duck lifted its head, giving her a scare.

The man’s wife “was going to check on the refrigerator because it hadn’t been working right and when she opened the door, it looked up at her,” said Laina Whipple, a receptionist at Killearn Animal Hospital. “She freaked out and told the daughter to take it to the hospital right then and there.”

The 1-pound female ringneck ended up at Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, where it has been treated since Tuesday for wounds to its wing and leg.

Sanctuary veterinarian David Hale said it has about a 75 percent chance of survival, but probably won’t ever be well enough to be released back into the wild.

He said the duck, which has a low metabolism, could have survived in a big enough refrigerator, especially if the door was opened and closed several times. And he said he understands how the hunter thought the duck was dead.

“This duck is very passive,” Hale said. “It’s not like trying to pick up a Muscovy at Lake Ella, where you put your life in your hands.”

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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