A Fort Walton Beach, Florida, man, 91, is recovering from an attack by a Muscovy duck at a local duck pond. Wilmer Neumann was reportedly walking with his grandson on August 7, 2013, at Ferry Park when the two were approached by a very irate Muscovy duck.
It should be noted that Muscovy ducks can weigh up to 15 pounds and are known for their sharp claws, which are not know to be particularly hygienic, and all ducks can be really mean when they’ve a mind to be.
The duck, who was with a female, and was probably guarding a nest, apparently flew up at Neumann, and caught the man’s calf with the long, sharp talon on its webbed foot on the way down. Neumann described the attack, “I thought I was walking past them, but first thing I know I had a duck on my back. He flew up but on the way back down he got a talon caught on my left calf. I’ve had both knees replaced. I don’t walk fast.” Neumann theorized that he may not have been moving away fast enough for the duck’s taste. “It was his way of retaliating, I guess.”
It took animal control several attempts to capture the vicious, wily ducks, who managed to elude capture for two days until they were chased into an enclosure by an equally wily officer, who called for backup as the ducks hissed and bobbed their heads at him through the fence.
Backup arrived and the second officer seemed perplexed, “They’re just ducks,” he said. To which the first officer replied, “They’re not just birds. They’re strong. They’ll mess you up.”
Ultimately, the pair was safely removed without injury. Currently animal control is looking to find them a new home far away from Ferry Park and Mr. Neumann.
Neumann, who had already been to the doctor three times in the two days since the attack seemed worried, and blames himself for not handling the attack more decisively, “I reached down and grabbed him by the neck until he pulled (the talon) out somehow. I should have just held on to his neck.”