Volunteers fail to rescue duck shot with blowgun dart

September 1, 2011 7:35:48 PM PDT
Residents of a Santa Clara apartment complex are worried about the ducks that live on the property. Someone is shooting them with blowdarts.

In line with the nautical motif of the Marina Playa apartment complex in Santa Clara, most residents love the ducks and geese that live there.

"We brought our kids to see the duckies," Yemi Wolbay said.

But not now. Wolbay doesn't dare take her little girl to see the ducks for fear that she may see a young mallard with a blow dart just behind its right eye.

It was not the first duck to be shot with a blowdart.

"Who shoots baby ducks," non-profit rescue group Wild Rescue Director Rebecca Dmytryk asked. "Who darts baby ducks? That's sick."

Thursday, volunteers from Wild Rescue launched a noble effort to rescue the injured bird, but to no avail. The duck is hurt, but not too hurt to evade them.

Based on the evidence, it appears someone shot the bird from inside this complex.

"We're speculating it's a young duck born around here and he hasn't flow anywhere, hasn't flown in and has not flown out, so that means it has happened here," Dmytryk said.

The duck is not the first victim. Last week, rescuers found another duck, dead, with four blow darts in it, along with another that escaped. Santa Clara police have opened an investigation. Management of the marina playa apartments declined comment, but other residents were talking.

"It might be someone here because there are a lot of problems with duck feces, a lot of geese feces, a lot of cat feces," Dave Sandoval said.

As for the injured duck, there is a good chance it can survive days or even weeks with such an injury, so rescuers have not given up. They plan to return, next week, with a new plan.

"It's not just management of this complex that needs to watch out, it's parents. Sorry, but raise your kids right, don't get illegal weaponry and shoot baby ducks," Dmytryk said. "Who does that, right?"

Blowgun ammunition is illegal in California. In addition, the person responsible could face federal charges since the crime involves wild birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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