CREATED Sep. 19, 2013
NAPLES, Fla. - Dozens of Muscovy Ducks are dead and now residents of an apartment complex in Naples fear these animals may be getting poisoned and want to know how to save them.
Residents at Summer Wind Apartments contact FOX 4 after seeing dead duck after dead duck.
"I come out and I whistle and they all come to me," said resident Tracy Fusco.
She's been enjoying these ducks and watch them grow up for 5 years. She's known by neighbors as the 'Duck Whisperer.'
"I had about 50 here and now there's 10," she said. "You wake up in the morning and you see corpses all over the ground."
No amount of duck whispering can solve the problem of dead and dying Muscovy Ducks.
"We watch them convulse and bleed," said Fusco. "That's horrifying to see."
Tracy and a friend are doing everything possible to save them.
Even putting a dying duck in a cardboard box, and giving it antibiotics meant for dogs.
"Knowing that the duck will probably be dead within a day or two and there's nothing you can do about it, I mean it's devastation to watch it happen," she said.
Fearing poisoning as the culprit, the women called Florida Fish and Wildlife.
"There's not much that I can do individually on such a mass level to save them, but you try. You try," said Fusco.
An FWC biologist took the bodies of two ducks for testing.
It turns out the ducks aren't being poisoned; they're dying from
"aspergillosis", a fungal respiratory tract infection from moldy conditions.
FWC tells FOX 4 it's common in water fowl as we approach the winter months.
Tracy still isn't convinced.
"It's my personal opinion that there's an outside source, there's some sort of chemical," she said.
Tracy would like to see more ducks examined by FWC.
In the meantime, she's going to be watching the ducks and helping wherever she can.