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It wasn't long ago that Kenneth
City was mostly forested and rural.
of our wild friends either get
pushed out or become 'urbanized'.
attics seem like
a cozy nesting place. Trash cans
and pet food are easy meals and
swimming pools are convenient
toilets and bathing spots.
harmless as their intentions may
be, some wildlife
can be extremely destructive
to your property.
Trapper Guy will come out and
the live animal
from your property. I will fix
the damage caused and make preventative
measures so they won't return.
proper wildlife control
we can co-exist with our wild
hour services are for emergencies
only. Live animal in a living
area where safety of the occupants
is in question is considered an
City , FL wildlife news
was the year of ducks and pigs and horses
Those darned animals, real and mythical,
dogged city officials all year in southern
By ANNE LINDBERG, Times Staff Writer
Published December 30, 2007
For most communities in southern mid
Pinellas, 2007 could well be known as
the Year of the Critter.
Horses, phantom dolphins,
bass, turtles and ghost pigs all had
their turn in the spotlight.
But the star of the
animal news was the Muscovy ducks, creatures
that some see as ugly, grouchy and a
general nuisance for the mess they leave.
Muscovies began the
year in Pinellas Park but spent the
latter half of the year at the center
of a battle that consumed Kenneth City.
There, duck lovers squared off against
Town Council members and duck detractors.
And who could forget the accusation
that a Kenneth City officer "Maced"
an innocent Muscovy?
The animal news began
in Seminole during February when City
Council member Dan Hester was horrified
to discover that not only were the bass
disappearing from Blossom Lake Park,
but two guys in a pickup had been seen
seizing turtles and "putting them
into big plastic containers."
Observers assumed the
turtles ended up as soup.
Hester wanted the council
to pass an ordinance to protect the
wildlife in Seminole's parks. Other
council members were skeptical but agreed
to talk about the issue during a workshop.
By year's end, no such
workshop had been scheduled.
Less than a week later,
city officials got an anonymous e-mail
saying that three dolphins had been
cavorting in Lake Seminole Park. City
officials, though dubious, called in
County officials were
equally skeptical, saying there was
no easy way for dolphins to get into
the freshwater lake. One way, said Kelli
Levy, a Pinellas County environmental
program coordinator, would be if a "big,
humongous hurricane came along."
The storm, she said, could have created
a really big wave that could have swept
the dolphins into the lake.
But no one had noticed
such a storm. And the dolphins have
not been seen since.
Late in February, the
animal news moved to Pinellas Park.
There, council members decided against
an ordinance banning Vietnamese potbellied
pigs after the city received an unsubstantiated
report of a rambunctious pig running
amok in the northwest section of the
city. Problem was that no one had actually
seen the beast, which was dubbed the
Although a pig named
Chickadoo lives in the area, her owner
said she never leaves the yard so it's
unlikely that she was the "ghost
The next month, Pinellas
Park cited a condominium owner for "harboring"
Muscovy ducks. The woman was accused
of leaving her garage door up so the
ducks could waddle in and out to get
the food she left for them. The woman
denied the charge. Soon after, the brouhaha
Some speculated the
Muscovies moved to Kenneth City. But
before they became a Kenneth City issue,
Pinellas Park had to deal with a war
over horse droppings. The war was fueled
by council gadfly Joe Shelley, who took
hundreds of pictures of horse poop as
"evidence" that the city was
knee deep in the stuff. Horse lovers
vehemently denied the accusations, saying
they did the best they could to police
the horse trails and access streets
to the trails.
Shelley moved on to
other issues later in the year after
someone made a nasty comment about political
activist Randy Heine before a council
meeting. The slur could be heard on
a tape of the meeting, but it was unclear
who had made the comment. Shelley insisted
that the council have the tape run through
a voice analyzer to determine who had
made the statement. The council refused.
Meanwhile, Kenneth City
Mayor Muriel Whitman awoke one morning
to find her front yard full of Muscovies.
The town, she said, had become overrun
with the feisty beasts looking for free
By September, the Muscovy
became the cause celebre when the council
decided it should ban the feeding of
Muscovies on private property. It was
already against town rules on public
Despite vigorous protest
from Muscovy lovers, the council passed
such an ordinance. The ordinance also
bans the feeding of mammals.
The council was chagrined
to discover after the fact that Muscovies
may be wild, but they are not wildlife
according to the state of Florida. Council
members were also stunned to realize
that, by prohibiting the feeding of
mammals under certain conditions, they
might have outlawed food consumption
by humans. It appeared that the only
creatures that could be fed were the
Kenneth City police
were told not to enforce the ordinance
until further study.
As the year drew to
an end, Kenneth City Muscovies were
getting their fill of handouts. And
town residents could feed dogs, cats
and themselves without fear of fines.
[Last modified December
29, 2007, 22:24:15]