Britain’s booziest duck that became a celebrity for downing pints in his local pub has been seriously injured – in a brawl with a DOG.
The bird – called Star – is well known for waddling around his favourite inns wearing a bow tie and swigging ale from a glass.
The booze-loving duck and his handler Barrie Hayman are a regular sight in their local taverns – some of which even give Star his own stool.
But Star’s drinking days could be over after an altercation with a dog after returning from his favourite watering-hole The Old Courthouse Inn.
Star came to blows and lost out to pooch Meggie – which also belongs to Star’s owner Barrie.
They had a Mexican stand-off and stared each other out before the hound pounced – leaving the duck with his bottom beak split down the middle.
Barrie, 69, says that the dog tired of the Indian Runner duck’s drunken antics and Star finally ”pushed his luck too far”.
He rushed the beer-loving avian to the vets where he was put on painkillers and said he was praying his beloved duck would make a full recovery.
Barrie, of Chulmleigh, Devon, said: “Star pushed his luck too far and Meggie snapped – splitting Star’s bottom beak right down the middle.
“He gave her a stare, then promptly stood on her back. It was not pretty and not nice. We were so scared we would lose Star. ”
Grandfather-of-one Barrie, a former scuba diving instructor in Australia, lives with wife Sue, and plucked Star from the incubator in 2011 when he was just days old.
As a chick Barrie walked round with Star in his top pocket but after he grew up he developed a taste for real ale and now often goes down to the local with his owner.
But Barrie said Star’s drinking days were almost numbered.
He said: “He had to be rushed to the vets and go under anaesthetic, which is always risky and could go either way with ducks and other small animals.
“Thankfully our Star is a tough cookie and it looks like he came out okay, not sure we came out quite as well.
“We had hours and hours of stress and waiting around.The vets are really pleased with his progress. He seems to be bouncing back nicely which is good.”
Barrie was concerned the injury would leave Star with a lisp that would put his performance career in jeopardy – as the duo regularly team up to raise hundreds of pounds for charity with their unique street double act.
But vets have reassured Barrie that Star should be able to take to the stage again and the injury will not affect the duck’s dulcet tones.
He said: “He just won’t leave me and so we go everywhere together. I’ve not trained him to follow me. He just seems to like it and he is one fantastic duck.
“He loves to come to the pub, where everyone loves him. He is such a personality and attracts so much attention.”
Star even has his own Facebook page under the name Star Hayman.
It reads: “I am an Indian Runner Duck. My daddy is my best friend. I love wriggly worms and I follow my dad everywhere. I watch TV with him, especially rugby, and I even share his beer.”