Queenstown police hunt driver who allegedly 'intentionally' killed ducklings

SPCA Otago director of animal welfare Dr Helen Beattie said the person could face a charge of willful or reckless ...
MARTIN DE RUYTER

SPCA Otago director of animal welfare Dr Helen Beattie said the person could face a charge of willful or reckless ill-treatment of an animal if it was proven they had intentionally run the ducks over.

A man has contacted Queenstown police about his involvement in Tuesday's duck road deaths saying he was unable to avoid them.

Police were earlier hunting for a driver who allegedly "intentionally accelerated" into a mother duck and her ducklings, killing all but two.

Sergeant Keith Newell, of Queenstown, said a member of the public called police to report the incident, which happened on Robins Rd about 8am.

A black ute reportedly "intentionally accelerated towards them [ducks] ... in plain view of a busload of tourists" killing most of the family, Newell said.

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Two ducklings survived, he said.

A police media spokeswoman said the man explained that he attempted to avoid the ducks but believed he had hit the mother duck.

He claimed he had avoided the ducklings, she said.

"He did not stop due to having his son in the vehicle who would have been upset at what had occurred," the spokeswoman said.  

SPCA Otago director of animal welfare Dr Helen Beattie said the person could face a charge of willful or reckless ill-treatment of an animal if it was proven they had intentionally run the ducks over.

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"It comes down to whether or not it's willful," Beattie said.

The SPCA did not get many reports of these types of incidents, which was great, she said.

Beattie advised patience with animals crossing roads at this time of the year.

"Accidents happen and sometimes mothers don't make good decisions crossing the road with their brood."

Inquiries were continuing.

 - Stuff

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