KETCHIKAN — An Alaska family believes someone deliberately dumped oil on their property in an effort to kill the ducks and chickens that neighbors say attract bears.
The family keeps the ducks for their 7-year-old autistic son. The Alaska State Troopers and Department of Environmental Conservation have investigated and filed no charges, but say the oil dumping appears deliberate, the Ketchikan Daily News reports .
“We went out and fed the animals, and here comes my child’s ducks,” Williams said, “and they were all black and smelled horrible.”
The family has had to pen their nine ducks on the front deck of their home because of the oil, which has left most of their 5,000-square-foot property unfit for use.
They also have chickens, which are penned into a corner of the backyard.
State troopers questioned a neighbor after investigating the scene. The DEC has taken over the investigation.
Williams said her son would be distraught if he learns his ducks were harmed.
“Those are his ducks,” Williams said. “The chickens — I can lose a few of those; he would be all right. I can’t lose any of his ducks.”
Kelly Ludwig-Johnson, Ketchikan Gateway Borough Animal Protection Department director of animal protection, said other than losing a few feathers, the ducks should be fine.
Jordan Morales, who works as a veterinary assistant at the Ketchikan Veterinary Clinic, has started a donation box to raise money for the new fencing.
“It seems like she was specifically targeted,” Morales said.
Ludwig-Johnson said Williams isn’t the only person in the area with farm animals.
“I don’t think (the animals are) attracting bears any more than anything else,” she said. “I think people’s garbage attracts bears more.”