Trappers return to rescue more ducks shot with darts

DAVIE, Fla. (WSVN) — Animal rescuers returned to the Davie waterway where, residents said, several ducks were shot with blow darts in this Broward County neighborhood.

Wednesday afternoon, rescuers were trying to find the remaining injured ducks and bring them to the nonprofit agency Duck Haven, which is run out of Eunice Sivertsen’s backyard. "The cruelty done to these ducks down in South Florida is horrendous," she said.

The 78-year-old duck caretaker has been giving ducks a place to heal for 41 years. "I saw what happens to all these ducks. I said, ‘No. I’m gonna have a duck haven, and I’m going to take all the permanently injured ducks,’" she said.

"All right, babies," Sivertsen said as she greeted the 65 Muscovy ducks she cares for.

She said she knows each of them by name. Among the current residents are Charlie, Sally, Daffy, Caroline and Angel.

Some of the birds at Duck Haven are blind, and one of them only has one leg. Six of them have no beaks, and one was even bitten by an alligator.

Sivertsen said she won’t release the birds found injured in Davie until whoever hurt them is caught. "It’s OK. You’re OK. You’re not going to be hurt anymore," she told one of her new arrivals.

Robert Fischer said he spotted six Muscovy ducks with darts sticking out of their bodies along a jogging path, near a lake located south of Rexmere Village in Davie, Tuesday. "I just hate to see it, this kind of violence," he said, "especially in such a nice area like this."

Another neighbor, Talia O’Neal, said she hates seeing how cruel these animals have been treated. "To make an animal suffer needlessly for days and days and not be able to eat, fly — I think that’s just horrible," said O’Neal. "I think it’s really cruel."

"It just really messes up your feelings about human beings," said Fischer.

On Tuesday, two of the ducks were taken to the Animal Wellness Clinic of Tamarac, where vets took X-rays of their injuries. "I think we missed totally the trachea, so this is gonna be a good ending," said Dr. Monica Brenes, as she looked at one of the X-rays.

Both birds required surgical treatment. "We can cut it and pull it out," she said, referring to one her patients’ blow darts.

If you have any information on who may be responsible for this incident, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

For more information about Duck Haven Inc., go to www.duckhaven.community-info.org.