Pearland gives OK for residents to kill 'invasive' ducks

PEARLAND, Texas (KTRK) -- The City of Pearland is telling its residents they are not allowed to feed the ducks, but they are allowed to kill them.

In response to the growing population of Muscovy ducks, the city is encouraging landowners and homeowner's associations (HOAs) to "address the ducks as seen fit, and within legal parameters, by the HOA or the landowner."

"From the reports that we've heard, (the ducks) tend to be aggressive on properties and they push other species out and different things like that," said director of communications for the city of Pearland, Joshua Lee. "The ducks can be destroyed by any legal manner, or presidents of HOA's can contact agents."

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The Muscovy duck is considered an invasive species from Central and South America, so they are not protected.

"I just think they're really cute and charming in the neighborhood," said Pearland resident Laurin Guadiana.

The city says you can only kill the duck if you capture it on your own property. They say it cannot be kept, consumed or sold. Plus, the duck must be destroyed by legal means. In Pearland city limits, the discharge of a firearm is generally illegal.

"(In) the majority of the city, it's not acceptable or allowable by law to discharge a firearm, a weapon of any kind," said Lee.

The city says, "If a duck is destroyed where use of a firearm is permissible, the person doing so must use nontoxic shot or nontoxic bullets."

But to trap and relocate the animal is a tall order. The ducks are only allowed in three south Texas counties: Hidalgo, Starr and Zapata, which are more than five hours away.
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The public notice is leaving many neighbors in the area unnerved at the idea of animal killings in their neighborhood.

"It just makes me really sad because we have actually had some killings around here recently, like bad ones, where there were a bunch dead on that road over there," said Guadiana.

"I have seen some be aggressive, but you know, I don't really think we should be able to kill them," said neighbor Donna Landrum.

To read the city's notice, click here.

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