Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shot with an arrow, a St. Petersburg duck recovers postsurgery

Quackers was captured and brought to Pinellas County Animal Services last week to get the arrow taken out of its neck.

Pinellas County Animal Services

Quackers was captured and brought to Pinellas County Animal Services last week to get the arrow taken out of its neck.

ST. PETERSBURG — The blue arrow went straight through its neck, leaving a St. Petersburg duck with an unusual and potentially fatal piercing. But county officials have intervened to save its life. They christened it "Quackers."

For about six months, the avian resident of a St. Petersburg pond was periodically seen trying to carry on with life as usual. But there is nothing normal about a roughly 5-inch blue arrow sticking out of a duck's neck, and neighbors began to talk.

After a television news spot featured the injured animal, the Pinellas County Animal Services staff stepped in. For two days last week, they stalked the Muscovy duck around its retention pond home on Fourth Street N between Monroe Circle and Lincoln Circle. Both times, it kept out of sight.

Finally, on Thursday evening, animal control officer John Hobson and two trappers from Bradenton spotted the duck and captured it using a net gun. They brought the bird to director of veterinary services Dr. Caroline Thomas, who operated and successfully removed the arrow.

"While the injury was quite severe and the surgery was complicated, I feel comfortable that the duck will make a full recovery," Thomas said.

John Hohenstern, senior animal control officer, said the county is not actively pursuing Quackers' attacker. "No one saw anything, and it happened months ago," he said. "Technically, it could have really happened anywhere. It might not even have happened in Pinellas County."

Muscovy ducks are not native to Florida and are not protected, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Tony Young.

"They're just like pigeons," he said, adding that they are considered domesticated animals, not wildlife. But that does not mean it is legal to pick one off.

Sgt. David DiSano, a spokesman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, said that whoever shot the duck could be charged with animal cruelty, a third-degree felony.

The arrow that struck Quackers — a bit of a misnomer, as the duck has been a very quiet patient — likely came from a crossbow or similar type of weapon. No other ducks appear to have been injured, Hohenstern said.

Quackers, who is convalescing in the Animal Services office's cat building in Largo, will be moved to the Loving Care Animal Hospital later this week.

The county's veterinarian has not ascertained whether the duck is male or female.

"We were working on one end and I guess we didn't really take a good look at other," Hohenstern said.

Shot with an arrow, a St. Petersburg duck recovers postsurgery 10/22/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 22, 2012 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Budgets, principals, vouchers and more


    VETO TIME? Gov. Rick Scott weighs advice on whether to reject the Legislature's education budget. • Pasco County school officials

  2. UK police arrest man in Manchester bombing, which May called 'a callous terrorist attack'

    Public Safety

    MANCHESTER, England — Greater Manchester Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the apparent suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the city.

    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured.  [Peter Byrne | PA via AP]
  3. Trump condemns 'evil losers' who carried out Manchester concert attack


    BETHLEHEM, West Bank — President Donald Trump condemned the "evil losers" responsible for the deadly attack on concert-goers in England Tuesday and called on leaders in the Middle East in particular to help root out violence.

    President Donald Trump pauses as he makes a statement on the terrorist attack in Manchester, after a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem. [Associated Press]
  4. Tampa Bay Times journalists wins 17 Green Eyeshade Awards

    Human Interest

    Tampa Bay Times journalists placed first in seven categories of the prestigious Green Eyeshade awards, which honors outstanding journalism in the Southeast.