Muscovy mystery as ducks vanish

WHETHER they were waddling along quiet village streets or nestling together by the pond, Jack and Doris the Muscovy Ducks were considered to be part of the community.

WHETHER they were waddling along quiet village streets or nestling together by the pond, Jack and Doris the Muscovy Ducks were considered to be part of the community.

The friendly birds had even become local celebrities in the small village of Liston, near Long Melford, with villagers featuring them in the parish magazine and buying them a special duck hut to make them feel at home.

And locals were looking forward to welcoming nine new additions to the feathered family, with Doris lovingly sitting on and tending to a batch of eggs, while Jack ensured she was well-fed.

But the village pond is now empty, the duck hut is deserted and the village is in a bit of flap – because Jack and Doris have been ducknapped.

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Villager Maureen Clayton, to whom the pair came to be fed twice a day, said: "It is unbelievable. They are so lovely and friendly – I can't imagine why anyone would want to steal them.

"We are all very upset. I know it seems daft but they had become a part of our lives – they were a part of Liston, and we want them back."

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The fowl deed happened in two parts – first Jack was taken on Thursday night, before Doris and her eggs vanished on Monday evening.

Mrs Clayton, 52, said: "I heard a noise outside our house, which is very close to the village pond, at about 11.30pm on Thursday night.

"It woke me up, so I looked out of our window and saw a man had parked his car – which had a cattle box attached to it – where the ducks usually sat.

"He came round from the side of the box, got in the vehicle and drove off. It was only then that I realised he had stolen Jack and I could not believe it.

"Doris wasn't there at the time because she was sitting on her eggs, but for the next few days she was wandering back and forth looking for him.

"Then, on Monday night, my neighbour – in whose garden Doris was nesting – called me and said that she had been stolen as well, along with her eggs.

"There was no sign of any scuffle or attack – to be honest, they were so tame that they wouldn't have made a fuss.

"We are absolutely certain that whoever came for Jack came back for Doris."

Mrs Clayton reported the thefts to Sudbury police, but was told it was unlikely the ducknapper would be tracked down.

And so the village has been left a quieter and more lonely place, with the grey and white couple, who arrived in Liston last year, seemingly gone forever.

"They were absolutely inseparable," added Mrs Clayton. "What that man has done is absolutely pointless.

"They had chosen to adopt Liston as their home and he has taken them away. We were all so looking forward to the babies hatching – everyone is very upset."

Mike Everett, a spokesman for the RSPB, said: "Duck-napping is not something that we come across very often.

"It is a very unfortunate thing to happen, and I can't understand why anyone would take them."

Anyone who has any information about the whereabouts of the ducks should call the RSPCA 24-hour line on 08705 555999.

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