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Feathers are still ruffled over alleged cruelty to local ducks

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Updated: June 24, 2011 9:12AM

The good news is, a mama duck at Aurora’s Fox Pointe Apartments recently gave birth to eight babies,

The bad news: As of Thursday, three of the five are no longer around.

Which is truly bad news at this far East Side apartment complex that, if you recall from a previous column, has had its share of missing ducks lately.

To add to the problem, Sherry Jender, the woman most vocal about the gang of adolescents she insists are abusing these birds, claims she’s now dealing with vandalism.

After going public with her claims that some boys were torturing and killing ducks, as well as destroying their eggs, she said her car was keyed, windshield wipers broken and a full tank of gas was siphoned.

Spokesman Dan Ferrelli said the city has received only two calls about the alleged animal torture, both placed May 14. Aurora Animal Control and the police, he added, have been “diligently addressing the issue” — including talks with possible suspects and their families — but have been unable to find evidence or witnesses to the alleged bad behaviors.

Still, the city planned to begin distributing educational fliers on Thursday evening to all Fox Pointe residents asking them to be vigilant about looking out for any instances of animal abuse. The fliers include possible penalties for violators and contact numbers for people to call.

Ferrelli said the city is also working with Fox Pointe security and has consulted the Illinois Department of Natural Resources about the alleged behaviors.

Jender decided to speak up after watching the duck population there go from 12 to two. She guarded the remaining ducks as closely as possible and was thrilled when the babies arrived a week ago. Now that three are missing, she said, “I can only surmise the neighborhood kids are up to their old tricks again.”

But Ferrelli points out that, according to Animal Control, it’s not unusual for baby ducks to fall into storm drains or fall victim to predators, like certain birds and fish,

Jender agrees, but says she’s seen too many kids antagonize the ducks. (After the first column ran in late May, I received several e-mails from other concerned residents about the problem.)

Jender, who plans to file a police report Friday about the car vandalism, knows that by speaking out this second time she’s setting herself up for more problems.

“These boys try to intimidate a lot of people,” she said. “But they can’t intimidate me.”

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