ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (TodayNews) — Neighbors fight over ducks in St. Petersburg.
One woman feeds them, but on Wednesday morning, she says, her neighbor shot and killed one of them who wandered into his territory.
Tammy Russell makes squirrel food that ducks often eat. She even set up a small pool in the yard for them to play in.
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It was all fun and games until the ducks crossed the street to her neighbor’s front lawn.
“I heard pop, pop, pop, pop and immediately knew what it was because he had done it before,” Russell said.
She says the sound was because her neighbor was shooting a duck with an air gun and was very worried.
“I looked out the window and saw him standing there and shooting,” she explained. “There were four adults and four ducklings.”
We contacted the homeowner across the street, William Stope, who says he shot the duck in an attempt to protect his family.
“My son PANDA [Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections], which is a very terrible disorder of the brain,” he explained. “I’m trying to keep him safe.
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“These ducks carry all kinds of diseases and that’s the only reason I shot ducks with a BB gun,” he continued.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it was a Muscovy duck, which is an invasive species.
The FWC says that since he humanely killed the animal on his property and it was an invasive species, what Stoop did was legal.
Now they are urging everyone not to feed any invasive species like muscovy ducks or sandhill cranes to keep them away from residential areas like St. Petersburg’s Meadowview area.
As for Russell, she says the duck didn’t deserve it.
“It’s a living animal,” she explained. “What if a child on a bicycle passed by?”
“What if you offend someone?” she continued. – How is it legal?