Third duck with beak removed is found in Fountain Valley park; animal activists fear it’s intentional
A third duck whose beak was removed was found at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley, and animal advocates said they’re concerned the animals are being targeted and harmed by someone.
“Our suspicion is with so many injured in the same way, that it seems intentional,” said Debbie McGuire, executive director at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach.
Two other ducks had been found and cared for by the center since July. Both ducks were found starving, unable to eat because of their injuries and had to be euthanized.
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Investigators with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said they had to consider all possibilities in their inquiry — including the possibility that the injuries were caused by a natural predator — but on Tuesday said the number of birds, and the similarity in the injuries, raised the possibility the animals were disfigured by a person.
“The possibility of it being an actual animal cruelty case is very real, but we do have to do our due diligence,” said Capt. Patrick Foy, a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson.
The third duck, McGuire said, appears to have been found on June 14 at the same park but had gone unreported until this week.
“This third duck is most likely the first victim of these atrocities,” McGuire said.
The duck was found by a volunteer walking the park after work. She took the duck home because the center had been closed. The animal also appeared to be starving and died overnight.
The suspect operated an unlicensed animal boarding and training business and was ‘directly responsible for the neglect of the animals,’ police said.
On Friday, a Fish and Wildlife official said the bills did not appear to have been removed with a “clean” straight cut, and they were therefore considering the possibility they were injured in the wild.
Foy said investigators have taken possession of the carcass of one of the birds from the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center. The bird will be inspected by an avian pathologist to determine the origin of the injury.
However, McGuire said the number of incidents and similarity in the injuries are raising concerns not only that the ducks were intentionally harmed, but that more may have been injured.
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