One of San Antonio’s River ducks is the subject of a city investigation this week, and a $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest.
The City's Animal Care Services has several videotapes from Riverwalk restaurants, and is searching for those responsible for the death of George the Duck.
Considering ducks can live into their 20s, George was young. The duck had lived for only two years, all of it on the San Antonio River, when he was abducted last week and allegedly beaten to death by two men somewhere along the Riverwalk.
"Well, they certainly physically abused it, and the end result is that the duck did die," said Audra Houghton, Cruelty Investigator with Animal Care Services.
She said the city has videotapes of the incident that show two men leaving the scene with the lifeless duck. The men are shown meeting four other men at a spot along the old part of the Riverwalk near the Original Mexican Restaurant.
At some point, the men dropped the beaten duck into the river. It was pulled out for further investigation.
There are many ducks on the San Antonio River, including Mallards and the Muscovies, like George, and Houghton said none of them deserved this type of malicious treatment.
"He had been there for a couple of years at least and had been fed by a number of the employees. So he was very trusting of people and wasn't afraid to approach people and wasn't afraid to be approached by them," she said.
Houghton said the offense would be a felony, punishable by up to two years in state jail and a $10,000 fine. She is hopeful that the story will at least inform more people that cruelty to any kind of animal is against the law.
The Humane Society of the United States and Crimestoppers have offered a combined $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects.