Who is shooting Lockport ducks?

August 21, 2011 (LOCKPORT, Ill.)

Cory Quiroz and his neighbors accepted the visitors into the Woodlands subdivision. They occasionally fed the ducks, which Quiroz believes had been domesticated.

"What was so entertaining and fun about the ducks is that they weren't five ducks of the same breed. They were five different ducks," Quiroz said.

Late last month, Quiroz found that one of the ducks had been fatally shot.

He noticed a small hole in one side of the bird's head and an exit wound on the other. It appeared as if someone had used a BB gun.

Two of the other ducks also disappeared at the same time. Quiroz suspects they met a similar fate. Only two ducks remain from the original group.

Quiroz is concerned that somebody is shooting ducks in his neighborhood --simply out of anger or for a thrill.

Quiroz has informed the police. Lockport police confirmed that he reported the incident on July 31. Quiroz wants residents to be vigilant for this type of destructive behavior.

Neighborhood visit:

The ducks first appeared in the Treeline Drive neighborhood in late May or early June. One was solid white, and another was solid black. Two were gray with the showy tufts of feathers on their heads. One was black and green.

Quiroz believes the ducks were domesticated, because they never flew. He believes a previous owner might have clipped their wings.

The ducks would inhabit a creek area behind Quiroz's home. The creek has water only during times of heavy rainfall, and is generally dry.

Quiroz also would see the ducks in his yard and his neighbors' yards. The ducks also would inhabit a drainage ditch across the street.

Quiroz, who works nights, was in his driveway around 4 a.m. one day in late July. He noticed the five ducks on a nearby driveway, waddling around and eating grass.

At 5 a.m., a neighbor's son came outside and only saw two of the five ducks. This was unusual, as the ducks always stayed together, and usually within a close distance.

At 7:30 a.m., the young man's father found one of the birds dead.

He thought it had been hit by a car, but upon taking a closer look, he determined the bird had been shot. Quiroz also looked at the bird and came to the same conclusion.

Quiroz suspects that two other ducks had been shot, and coyotes had taken them for food. He suspects this because coyotes came around the next night, and were sniffing where the first duck had been found.

Based on the timeframe of sightings, Quiroz believes that three ducks were shot between 4 and 5 a.m. that morning.

Three ducks disappeared during that timeframe. It would have been too much of a coincidence for one to be shot and two others to be attacked by coyotes.

Quiroz accepts the reality that the ducks are in the wild and coyotes might get to them.

However, he said it is inappropriate for someone to be shooting ducks in the neighborhood.

He encourages anyone with information to call Lockport police at 815-838-2132.

-- Herald-News

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2011.)

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