Ducks shot with arrows suffer in Riverside Heights

- There's hunting and then there's what's happening in the Riverside Heights neighborhood in Tampa; ducks are being shot with arrows and left to suffer.

Pictures from a neighbor’s yard show the ducks with arrows through their bodies.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said there is nothing illegal about killing a duck because they are considered an invasive species. There are also no ordinances which ban shooting a bow and arrow.

Shooting a duck and letting it suffer, however, is considered animal cruelty, which is against the law. 

Neighbors say whoever is doing the shooting is maiming the birds, and definitely letting them suffer.

"It's gotta be somewhere close by because the ducks with arrows keep ending up here in one of these three yards," Ericka Lehrer said.

For years, the Lehrer's backyard has been a favorite nesting place for ducks, which sometimes take a dip in their pool.

"We stay inside and enjoy them from the window while they're swimming in the pool... So my daughters get really upset when they see something like that. They just cry," Lehrer said.

Over the past four months, ducks suffering from arrow wounds have been showing up and eventually dying in the Lehrer's backyard.

"Some people like to hunt, but to leave the animal out there suffering and unable to live its life properly is just unfair and inhumane to the animal," Ericka’s husband, Andrew said.

Neighbors have been unable to catch any of the injured birds to try to help them and, according to local animal rescuers, there isn't a lot that can be done for the birds.

HCSO said if ducks are a nuisance in the neighborhood, the best thing to do is call a professional trapper to remove them. 

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