Ducks shot by possible pellet gun in St. Petersburg, woman nurses them back to health

Posted at 5:01 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 17:02:39-04

Two ducks were found with open wounds from a possible pellet gun near Eagle Manor Lake in St. Petersburg.

Karen Hicks' backyard opens up to the lake, where she watches wild birds come up to her fence line.

"Let's go back to the lake," she said, as she helped lead the way to the water. 

Hicks and her daughter found the two birds last week with dried blood around open wounds.

"The SPCA said, you know, we can take them, but we can't guarantee they'll be seen by a vet," said Hicks.

With fear of them being put down, Hicks decided to nurse the birds back to health herself.

"I just kind of doctored them with peroxide and antibiotic ointment and massaged it," she said. "They would just lay in your lap and let you rub their wound."

Hicks filed a formal police report with St. Petersburg police in case other injured animals turn up.

"I wanted people to be aware and to keep an eye out, because they have to see if somebody's standing in their backyard with a pellet gun," said Hicks.

Bird expert Justin Matthews, with Matthews Wildlife Rescue, said his load of calls to rescue birds spikes in the summer.

He says two reasons are that birds are hatching in the summer and that more people are moving to Florida -- unfamiliar with the wildlife here.

Hicks hopes alerting her neighbors will help find who may be shooting these birds.