What can you do to stop animal abuse?
A couple of recent social media posts have asked the simple question, “What kind of person shoots a duck with a blow dart?”
That exact question was posed by the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department in a Facebook post July 23. The post includes a picture, which was credited to Jennifer Barker, that shows the duck with what appears to be a dart stuck in its rump.
A follow-up post by Parks and Rec said that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been contacted. Recreation Coordinator Lance Romo told The Bellingham Herald that Barker took the photo Tuesday near Derby Pond in Whatcom Falls Park.
A July 10 Reddit post by a person with the screen name NormieChad showed a duck with what appeared to be a dart standing on the beach at Bloedel Donovan Park and asked pretty much the same question using a little more colorful language.
Whatcom Humane Society Executive Director Laura Clark told The Bellingham Herald that the department’s wildlife rehabilitation center also is aware of the duck, which they believe has been living at Derby Pond for a couple of years.
“He is fully flighted, meaning he is mobile and can fly, so our wildlife center has not been able to capture and contain him to provide any veterinary assistance,” Clark told The Herald.
Clark said the Humane Society has not seen any increase in the reports of animals being targeted recently, other than the “ ’normal,’ inappropriate human interaction with wildlife (purposeful and non-purposeful) that causes injury and death to them.”