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3 starving ducks found with their beaks severed at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley

At least three mallard ducks in Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley have been found in recent weeks with their bills severed, leaving them unable to eat and suffering from starvation.

Two ducks had to be euthanized; the other died before it could be brought to a wildlife care center.

Both Orange County Animal Care and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife are investigating.

The first duck was brought into the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center on July 31. Debbie McGuire, the center’s executive director, initially believed there was some sort of field predator in the park.

“Sometimes we’ll have ducks come in with the top or bottom bill broken off, usually caused by fishing line entanglement, but I’ve never seen both bills broken off,” she said. “When the second duck came in we started thinking this might not be a predator.”

After the second duck was brought in on August 13, McGuire shared news of the injuries with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who told her the attacks likely were caused by a human.

On Friday, Aug. 19, McGuire learned that another duck with a severed beak had been found at the park by an employee with the wildlife center in mid June. The center had closed for the day so the employee took the duck home to care for it, but because it had been unable to eat for so long, the duck did not make it through the night.

There have been other recent cases of animal abuse in Orange County parks. In May, several ducks and geese were shot at Costa Mesa’s TeWinkle Park.

But McGuire said the Fountain Valley discoveries seemed especially heinous.

“The images (of the ducks) haunt me when I go to sleep at night,” she said.

McGuire said she has received many calls from community members looking to offer any aid they can in finding the person responsible, including one resident who offered to place a $5,000 reward for the suspect’s arrest.

As of Friday, no suspect information was available.

Anyone with information on the attacks should call CalTip at 888-334-2258, or OC Animal Care at 714-935-6848.

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