CRESTVIEW — An animal rescuer will care for an injured Twin Hills Park Muscovy duck after a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-licensed rehabilitator provides treatment.
Public Works Department staffers on Wednesday captured the 10-pound waterfowl, which had eluded rescue since December.
The duck, with distinctive red head markings, had been a concern for park regulars who noticed fishing line wrapped around its swollen left leg.
RondaBell on Monday noticed the duck's injured leg had fallen off over the weekend.
"Bless his heart," she said.
Public Works Director Wayne Steele said his department, which oversees Parks and Recreation, received many calls about the bird.
Public Works, Parks and Recreation staff, and Panhandle Animal Welfare Society animal control officers tried unsuccessfully to capture him.
"He's able to fly and he's a good flyer," Steele said. "He's real strong."
The duck tried to take flight and was about 3 feet off the ground when he and Kenny Martin, Ricky Gomiller and Cody Suggs from his department moved in to capture him, Steele said.
"I dove and got him by the wing and it was just enough to get him slowed down until Cody behind me got the net over him," Steele said.
As Steele wiped mud from the front of his shirt, the result of his dive for the duck, the men laughingly compared themselves to cast members of A&E’s "Duck Dynasty," a reality TV series about a rural Louisiana family.
"I think Kenny was like Uncle Si," Steele said, referring to the show's Silas Robertson. "He was telling us what to do."
The duck spent a couple hours Wednesday nestled in a cage at the Public Works maintenance warehouse until wildlife rehabilitator Tomy Thompson took it to her north Crestview home.
"When I first saw (the leg socket) I thought maybe it might need some medical attention, but when I saw it today it looks like a clean break, and it looks like it hasn't got any gangrene," Thompson said. "It should be OK. He's a fighter!"
After Thompson rehabilitates the fowl, Bell — who said she has rescued horses, dogs and cats, "but never a duck” — will provide a home for the duck, which Thompson named Lucky.
Because the duck has one leg, it cannot run from snapping turtles, loose dogs or other Twin Hills Park dangers, and cannot be returned there, officials said.
Steele said he and his crew were glad to finally get the duck the rehabilitation it needs.
"There's a lot of facets to this job," he said. "It makes you glad when you're able to do some good for the community and sometimes for our animal friends."
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.