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Trapper shoots, kills ducks in Waterford Lakes neighborhood

HOA hired trapper to humanely remove ducks

ORLANDO, Fla. – Residents of Waterford Lakes are upset after a trapper hired by the community's homeowner association fatally shot several ducks Wednesday morning.

"I could hear a popping noise...'pop, pop, pop, pop, pop'...a lot of it," Waterford Lakes resident Sue Bigsby said.

Bigsby says she heard the gunfire around 5 a.m. Wednesday. When she checked outside, she says she saw a truck driving around the lake in her backyard and someone inside firing more shots.
 
"I said to him, 'What the hell are you doing?' and he said, 'I'm killing ducks,'" Bigsby said.

The Waterford Lakes Community Association hired the trapper with Animals Beware in Mt. Dora to capture Muscovy ducks. The WLCA says this large flock of aggressive and non-native birds started becoming a problem about three months ago.

"We researched a number of companies, found this particular provider who said they could relocate them to a farm," Kenneth Zook, the WCLA general manager, said.
 
Zook tells News 6 the HOA paid the trapper $5,500 to catch the ducks and relocate them to a farm in Clermont. Zook says he trapped 149 ducks. Zook says he did not give the trapper permission to shoot the ducks.

"Everything has been going fine up until what happened yesterday," Zook said. "He made a bad choice, all though that choice that he made is legal."

According to the FWC, it is not against the law to kill Muscovy ducks. A wildlife investigator interviewed the trapper and says he was legally and humanely removing them.

"Although this vendor was following the law, he made a bad choice. And it was a choice that didn't correlate with what the agreement was with Waterford Lakes," Zook said.

Zook says the HOA fired the trapper, but they still have ducks around the neighborhood.

"It's only going to be a matter of a month or two before they explode out of

Residents say the ducks are a problem. Bigsby says a solution could be stopping people from feeding them.

"Warn them, fine them. If people get slapped with a big fine, I don't think they're going to be running out and feeding the ducks," she said.

But Bigsby doesn't want anyone shooting them in her backyard.

"I know these ducks are a nuisance, I know they're not indigenous, but there is a better way to deal with it," she said.

News 6 called and emailed Animals Beware to get their side of the story. We were told they are sending us a statement, but we did not receive it  yet.


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