Duckling thieves make woman cry

Ducklings swimming on the River Welland in Spalding were targeted by poachers on Saturday.
Ducklings swimming on the River Welland in Spalding were targeted by poachers on Saturday.
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A woman watched in horror as a family helped themselves to ducklings swimming in Spalding’s River Welland at the weekend.

Hazel Duxon (69), from Cambridgeshire, was walking to Springfields Outlet Shopping and Festival Gardens on Saturday when she saw a “young foreign family” taking ducklings out of the river and putting them in a cardboard box.

She said: “My husband and I were walking along the river and were absolutely astounded and appalled to see a young foreign family with a little girl fishing out very young ducklings with a pond net and then putting them in a cardboard box.

“They were speaking in a foreign language, although I don’t know what nationality they were.

“There were four ducklings and their mother came back looking for them. I presume they were in the box. I was crying.

“I spoke to the police because I’d never seen anything like it before and I was absolutely disgusted by it.”

A South Holland District Council spokesman said the incident hasn’t been reported to them yet but Mrs Duxon wants the council to put up signs warning people not to steal wildlife.

She said: “It amazes me that instructions for all sorts of directives are translated into other languages, so couldn’t some sort of sign be put up to make it clear that this sort of behaviour isn’t acceptable here in this country?”

An RSPCA spokesman said: “Removing an animal or bird from the wild is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison and/or a £5,000 fine. Anyone with information should call our cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 so we can look into it.”