This story was updated with additional information from Ana Campos.
By Bryan Boggiano
An idyllic afternoon in Tamarac turned into a gruesome scene of horror as a man was caught brutally killing two innocent Muscovy Ducks.
On February 24, Lori Montiel, the president of the Azalea Court condo association, witnessed a man brutally kill two Muscovy Ducks that were frequent visitors to the property’s canal.
Montiel was relaxing on her patio when she saw a man, whom she assumed to be a contractor working on the sprinklers, come to feed the ducks. However, things quickly turned gruesome as the man grabbed two ducks by their necks and wrung them, causing them to cry in pain.
“To watch that happen, to hear the ducks scream, I cannot put it into words,” Montiel said. “Watching him just wring the neck of the birds was horrifying to me.”
Montiel immediately called 911 and chased the man down as he put the two dead ducks in a crate in the back of his truck — which was already full of dead ducks.
The man allegedly told Montiel that the police would not do anything and sped off while she was on the phone with dispatch.
When police arrived at the scene, Montiel gave them the man’s license plate number. However, according to Montiel, the police told her that there was nothing they could do unless the man was caught trespassing, at which point she should call 911.
While Muscovy Ducks are non-native and invasive, they are protected under the Migratory Board Treaty Act.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission allows for ducks, nests, and eggs to be removed by landowners, wildlife management services, tenants, and agencies without permits, but any ducks caught under the control order must be euthanized humanely or donated to a scientific or educational facility.
Muscovy Ducks may be removed humanely by methods such as live traps or nets, which must be checked every 24 hours. They can also be removed lawfully with a firearm on private property during the daytime, but this must be done with the landowner’s permission and with non-toxic shots or bullets.
After Tamarac Talk published this story, Ana Campos, who has been documenting duck kills, reached out and provided additional information.
She stated Muscovy Ducks are protected under anti-cruelty laws, just like other animals and wildlife in Florida.
Campos stated she witnessed groups trespass on private property and brutally slaughter or take ducks alive. This is in violation of state and federal statutes, which prohibit transporting them and not keeping them in a captive setting where they could come into contact with native wildlife or escape captivity.
She said also when confronted, the alleged duck killers may impersonate city or county officials and fail to produce evidence of being hired. She stated Davie and Palmetto Bay began cracking down on the illegal killings.
For Montiel, she believes there was nothing lawful about what the man did.
“To come onto private property and do this was appalling,” she said. “That was definitely not humane.”
- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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