Is it pronounced doo-shhh or doo-shay? However you say it, a douche(s) wounded four birds with blow darts in recent weeks, according to the Newport Beach Police Department.
"We have documented four individual birds–three Heermann’s gulls and one Mallard duck–that have been shot through the neck, although there may be more injured birds in the area," says Jennifer Manzella, the department's press information officer.
Each victim had been shot with orange, arrow-like projectiles that were about eight inches long, said Manzella, adding, "Follow-up investigation has determined that the projectiles are most likely blow darts, used in conjunction with a blowgun."
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She noted federal and state laws protect birds from this type of inhumane treatment, and that possession, use or sale of a blowgun or blowgun ammunition is also a violation of California law.
The first call of a wounded bird came on Jan. 9, according to Manzella, who also conceded officials are unsure if the 13 to 15 total reports that have come in all apply to the four known injured birds or if there are others. Wounded birds can still fly, which also had made it difficult for animal control officers to determine how many are injured, let alone retrieve them for treatment.
Anyone with information about wounded birds (so they can be captured and treated) is asked to call 949.644.3717. You are asked not to approach the birds.
If you know the identity of the shooter(s), call Animal Control Officer Nick Ott at 949.644.3688, ext. 2716, or email him at email@example.com. Anonymous tips are welcome.
Manzella adds NBPD administers the Pick-a-Pet foundation, which provides funding for the care of injured and abandoned animals, and supports the pet adoption goals of the city Animal Shelter. Charitable monetary donations may be dropped off at the department’s front desk or mailed to Animal Control’s attention at the Newport Beach Police Department, 870 Santa Barbara Drive, CA 92660. Checks should be made out to the City of Newport Beach, noting “Pick-a-Pet Foundation” in the memo line. These monies are eligible for charitable donation tax reductions; a tax receipt will be provided to each donor.