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Ducks recovering after being shot with darts in Pinellas Park, police say

Police say it's a case of animal cruelty
Posted at 11:05 PM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 23:24:05-04

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. -- Officers are investigating after they found ducks shot with darts in a neighborhood in Pinellas Park.

"It's disgusting. Why? What are the ducks doing to you?" said Tim Levert, a neighbor.

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Police responded to the area of 66th Street and 121st Avenue after reports of injured ducks. The incidents happened on May 6 and April 26.

"We don't believe that this was a case of someone trying to take care of a nuisance bird, we believe this is just a cruel act," said Sgt. Lonnie Lancto with the Pinellas Park Police Department.

A wildlife rescue group, Birds in Helping Hands, is caring for the latest injured duck found on Monday.

The rescue's co-founder, Shelley Vickery, said the bird is expected to recover. The dart missed his major arteries, bones and heart.

Vickery said the duck is in pain and they are giving the bird antibiotics.

FWC officials said Muscovy ducks may be humanely euthanized on private property if a nuisance. Federal regulations allow control by landowners, wildlife management agencies, tenants, or employees without federal or state permits. Pinellas Park Police said this law does not apply to people living in Pinellas Park.

"The city of Pinellas Park is a bird sanctuary. Yes, these are nuisance birds. However, we have a procedure in place where you go to the city manager, the city comes up with a way to successfully abate the nuisance," said Sgt. Lancto.

The bird injured on Monday is expected to recover, but it is illegal to catch Muscovy ducks and then release them. It will be taken to a local farm.

If anyone has any information on this animal cruelty case contact Pinellas Park Police at 727-369-7864. Please ask for Officer Skinner.