Cockatoo survives being shot with an arrow

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A sulphur-crested cockatoo has been spotted with an arrow through its head in Melbourne's east.

The bird was seen alive in a tree in Wandin North on Monday but authorities have not been able to capture it.

An arrow appears to have hit the bird under its beak, and the arrow is protruding through the top of its head.

Elle Ammann from Yarra Valley animal shelter Animal Aid said she did not understand how the bird has managed to survive the "abhorrent" attack.

"I have no idea how the bird is still alive, it's just one of those bizarre things," she said.

"It's cruel and horrific, it's just animal abuse."

Police said it was the third incident in seven months of wildlife being shot with an arrow in Melbourne's east.

A brushtail possum was shot in nearby Badger Creek, and another cockatoo was shot in Beaconsfield Upper.

Police want public help to catch the person responsible.

The maximum penalty for destroying wildlife is $41,305 and two years jail.

Anyone who sees the cockatoo is asked to contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186.