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Holley by the Sea considering killing ducks at local ponds

SANTA ROSA COUNTY - The Holley by the Sea homeowners' association is considering possibly capturing and killing dozens of ducks because some say they're creating a nuisance around two ponds in the subdivision.
No final decision has been made, but the situation has stirred up some controversy.

Some ducks are being taken to a safe place by a group of animal rescuers in the community. But the ones that are left behind may wind up being killed if Holley by the Sea board members decide to pursue that option.

"My concern is not about the ducks. It's the kids," said Brian Berg, who lives across the street from one of the two ponds where the ducks have made themselves at home.

"My biggest concern," Berg said, "Was not the fact that they're in my yard, eating my flowers and plants and defecating on my driveway and in my porch."
Berg says he's worried the ducks could cause a car accident when they dart out into traffic or if they wind up chasing children into the street.

"The kids are the ones that are gonna run away from these ducks when they're being avaricious," Berg said, "And they're gonna be possibly killed."

But Bill Huson, a neighbor of Berg's, said, "I've never seen the ducks chase anybody."

And Shandy Smith, who also lives nearby, agreed, saying, "I've never seen one that's aggressive."

Huson and Smith say they like the muscovy ducks.

Smith has organized a group that's rounding up some of the animals and taking them to new homes on private lands.

"Ideally," Smith said, "I'd like to get the number to around 10, maybe a dozen."
Smith says her volunteer group would be willing to keep managing the duck population, which is now around 25.

"They're always gonna come," Smith said, "If the board of directors chooses to round these ducks up and kill every one of them, they're gonna be more that come in."   
A spokeswoman for the homeowners' association, meanwhile, says the ducks can't legally be moved without special permission because they're an invasive species, meaning they're not native to Florida.

After we spoke with them they decided to ask state authorities to review the case.

Board members will further discuss how to address the situation at a meeting on December 10.