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Ducks taken from ponds, but snatchers won't face charges

5:45 PM, Aug 5, 2012   |    comments
A male Muscovy duck.
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Some bystanders are calling it a cruel case of animal abuse, but a trio who apparently snatched up ducks from at least two areas of the city won't be charged.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, three people were reportedly grabbing ducks by the neck and tossing them into cages in the back of a pickup truck. Dispatchers got a call that the ducks were being taken from a pond at 110th Ave. N. and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., then received another call from 16th St. N. around 62nd Ave. N.

"They probably already had about 25 to 30 ducks in the back of their truck," said one witness who didn't want to show her face.

But regulations regarding the taking of ducks basically say no harm, no foul.

"We have parts of our city ordinance that identify these wild ducks as nuisances, so from the standpoint of the police department doing anything, there's really nothing we can do," said Mike Puetz with the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Florida Fish and Wildlife rules don't consider the ducks a protected species, so taking them isn't against the law unless there's abuse or cruelty involved. That's where there's a difference of opinion. 

"To throw a net over a bird and cause it to sink to the bottom of the water, in my eyes, would be abuse," said the witness who called police. "If you did that to a human, without a doubt, it would be abuse."

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