The poor female mallard duck above was brought to Upper West Side veterinary hospital Animal General in bad shape Wednesday afternoon—they believe the duck was attacked by an off-the-leash dog in Central Park. It had most of its bill torn off and half its tongue missing, as well as lacerations to the back of its head, according to practice administrator Karen Heidgerd. "It’s one of the worst things we’ve seen," she told DNAInfo. The duck had to be euthanized due to the extensive injuries.
Heidgard noted that there were no witnesses to the attack, which occurred around the 59th Street pond at Central Park. But "from the wounds, our licensed wildlife rehabilitators conclude that the duck's entire head was in a dog's mouth," the hospital explained in a Facebook post. Heidgard stresses that the takeaway here is that owners need to be careful about their dogs, whether they're on or off their leashes: "Even if a dog is on leash, if there is a nesting duck or goose, they’re going to protect their nest and may get aggressive," Heidgerd warned. "The bird likely won’t hurt your dog, but they will hiss."