North Fort Myers residents crying foul over rumored duck killings

Kelli Stegeman

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Photo: Video by fox4now.com

North Fort Myers residents crying foul over rumored duck killings

By Kelli Stegeman. CREATED Aug 15, 2013

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Is a Southwest Florida mobile home park killing an entire group of animals? 

 
That's what some residents in North Fort Myers fear and want to know how this can be stopped. 
 
"All I know is that they're going to be gathered up and they're going to be executed; including the mother and the babies," said Julia Mobile Home Park resident Kit Bracher said. 
 
The community boasts a peaceful life filled with natural settings and Florida wildlife. However, one animal appears to be blacklisted.
 
The 50 or so Muscovy Ducks who call the grounds home are going to be rounded up Friday and killed according to residential rumor. 
 
"It's disgusting, it's very sad," Bracher said. 
 
She reached out to FOX 4 for help.
 
"What do the ducks bring to the neighborhood?" asked reporter Kelli Stegeman. 
 
"They are cute, they are cuddly," replied Bracher. "Yes, they are messy, but so are all the other birds that live in Florida."
 
Bracher wants to know how they legally can be killed. 
 
"To basically take them out and kill them because somebody's complained that they're pooping on their grass, or they live in the trees or they're laying the eggs," Bracher said. "That is just so wrong on every level."
 
FOX 4 took her concerns to Florida Fish and Wildlife.  Officials there say Muscovy Ducks aren't considered 'wildlife.' 
 
Lee County Domestic Animal Services says they aren't 'domestic animals' either. They say as long the ducks are a nuisance, the property owner has the right to get rid of them.
 
Word is spreading like wildfire around the park. 
 
FOX 4 reached out to the owners of the property based in Winter Park about these rumors but have not heard back. 
 
"It doesn't matter if they are a native species or not, they are a life form and they have a right to be here just as everybody else has a right to be here," said Bracher. 
 
Lee County Domestic Animal Services say it is illegal to capture and then relocate the birds. 
 
Also, property owners can't just take care of the removal process on their own. 
They must hire a private animal removal service to have the ducks euthanized.
 
Taking care of them yourself is considered animal cruelty which is a felony. 
 
Bracher says she is going to be outside her home, camera in hand, Friday morning making sure nothing illegal happens and hoping for an 11th hour save.
Kelli Stegeman

Kelli Stegeman

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Kelli anchors the 10 p.m. weekend news.