POLICE and the RSPCA are investigating reports a man unleashed his dogs to attack and kill two ducks at a Bridlington pond described as “the heart of a community”.
Local residents said they witnessed a man climb over the fencing on private land and let his two dogs off the lead at the pond, near Muntons on Jewison Lane, on Sunday morning.
One worried man even waded into the water to try to call off one of the dogs.
The RSPCA is also investigating reports that another small, white duck at the pond had been shot with a crossbow bolt, which is still stuck in its body, last Saturday.
Coun Margaret Chapman, who lives opposite the pond, said: “I saw a man climb over the fence and let his dogs off the leash, but I didn’t think too much of it until I heard a commotion and I realised the dogs were after the ducks.
“All sorts of people, from the very young to the elderly, love coming along and feeding the ducks.
“Muntons have done a fantastic job making the pond look so nice, it is at the heart of the local community. It is such a shame that there are people who do something horrific like this, intent on destroying that.
“It’s obviously not the dogs fault, if you take them over the fence and let them off the lead near the pond it’s in their nature to chase the ducks. And if somebody is going around the area with a crossbow, they need to be found before something else is shot.”
Just after 10.30am on Sunday, a group of around 10 passers-by gathered and tried to – continued on Page 3
persuade the man – who was described as tall, slim, in his 40s and not local – to call off one of his two spaniels, who had got into the pond and was chasing the ducks.
They threw rocks into the pond to distract it while one of the ducks escaped.
Even local Royal British Legion secretary Barry Moody waded into the water to try and call off the dog.
By this point one of the two ducks, believed to be rare black Indian Runners, had already been killed. The second briefly escaped, but was later found dead by the RSPCA.
Bempton resident Annette Pyrah was driving past the pond when she saw the commotion.
She said: “Someone shouted that a man was allowing his dogs to kill the ducks and I stopped my car to see what was going on.
“The man’s attempts to get his dog out of the pond was pathetic. He was abusive to the crowd who were trying to help and eventually the duck became exhausted and the dog closed in. The man could not control his dog, he just kept calling out “Molly, Molly”, which was totally ignored.
“When the dog was caught by its owner, he remarked “no harm done then, my dogs are okay” and he began to wave at the gathered crowd in a rather bizzare and unhinged fashion,” continued Annette, who said the man then walked off up Jewison Lane towards Bempton.
Sandra Vyas, who lives opposite the pond and has ducks visit her garden daily, said the whole incident was “horrific”.
“Only on Saturday, we noticed that a white duck who lives at the pond had been shot with a crossbow. It’s absolutely horrific to think of that, especially because that duckling had been adopted by the two that were killed,” said Sandra.
“We have lots more ducks in our garden now, which are obviously apprehensive of returning to the pond.
“In our eight years living here we have never seen anyone do something like this.
“It is obvious that he intentionally climbed over the fence, ignored the no trespassing sign and set his dogs on the ducks.
“He showed no remorse at all when he finally walked away.”
RSPCA inspector Geoff Edmond said: “These two incidents were awful and cruel attacks. Attacks on ducks are not something I deal with very often, so it is very strange that we have had two separate reports on the same weekend at the same place.
“We will now be monitoring the area and we encourage anyone who has seen anything to get in touch with us.”
Mr Edmond encouraged anyone with any information about the attacks to contact them on 0300 1234 999.
Tim Wakeley, compliance manager at Muntons maltings plant, thanked passers by for their efforts in apprehending the man and said he was “very disappointed” to hear that the ducks had been killed.
He said: “We have never had any problems like this before. The area is private land but we make an effort to keep it looking tidy and attractive, and people enjoy seeing the ducks who live at the pond.
“It was a very sad incident.”
Humberside Police confirmed they were called at around 11am, and completed local enquiries, but were unable to speak to the man as he had already left the area.
Anyone with information can call the Humberside Police non-emergency number 101, quoting log 252 of April 1.