Tragically, local wildlife has become the target of animal cruelty once again. Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation (WRR), a local animal rescue organization, responded to a disturbing case of cruelty at a recreational pond in northeast San Antonio on Sunday evening. Shocked neighbors contacted Animal Care Services (ACS) after they discovered that several animals had been shot with blow darts. Wildlife Rescue found one dart embedded in the neck of a Muscovy duck, another was found embedded in a bullfrog, and another five darts were found in the shell of a red-eared slider turtle.
Rescue volunteers were able to quickly capture the duck, but the turtle took hours to catch after she repeatedly submerged herself into the pond. The bullfrog was rescued the next day, and all three animals are currently being cared for by the WRR vet and animal care staff at their Kendalia clinic.
Both the duck and bullfrog underwent successful surgery to remove the darts; miraculously, the dart embedded in the duck missed both her jugular vein and trachea. Sadly, the bullfrog will most likely suffer permanent hearing loss from the dart that pierced her tympanic membrane. Although ACS investigators at the scene of the crime described the turtle’s shell as “a mess”, luckily none of the darts penetrated through her shell. Once fully healed, these animals will be released back into the wild.
ACS Officer Manuel Flores stated that this is the first time they have ever come across this specific kind of cruelty: “It’s very disturbing to see that somebody did something like this.” ACS has opened an investigation and plans to prosecute if the guilty party is identified. They are currently canvassing the Eden subdivision, and are asking anyone with information to contact Officer Flores at (210) 464-8713.
Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation provides care for the greatest diversity of animal species in the nation. WRR’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release native wildlife, and to provide sanctuary, individualized care, and a voice for other animals in need. For more information about WRR or to make a donation towards animal care, please visit www.wildlife-rescue.org.