At a time when most Americans are thinking of turkey, the main topic of discussion at Southeast Missouri State University is ducks.
Sixteen dead aquatic birds were left on the doorstep of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity on Nov. 13, according to semissourian.com.
A surveillance video obtained by KFVS12.com shows a man dropping the ducks on his way into the building and then throwing 16 of them into the entryway of the fraternity.
The video also shows a passenger in the truck moving over to the driver's seat and driving away after the ducks were left in the building.
"I was in my room when I first got the call. And they said dead ducks and I was surprised. I had no idea what he meant," said Sebastian Foeller, a fraternity member and resident assistant who found the dead ducks in varying states of decay scattered inside the building lobby.
Eyewitnesses such as hall director Christine Loy were shocked by the sight of the dead ducks.
"I thought they would be in a bag. I wasn't really expecting to see them just strewn all about on the floor," Loy told KFVS12.com.
After the surveillance video was released Thursday, the public safety department began receiving calls from hawkeyed TV viewers who helped identify the man as a university student.
Knowing his goose was cooked, the student came to the public safety department last Thursday with his family and confessed.
Doug Richards, the department's director, said the public safety department worked on the investigation with the conservation department. After receiving the confession, he cited the student for littering, a Class A misdemeanor that can carry up to a $1,000 fine, and a year in jail.
Kyle Booth, an agent of the conservation department, says the people who shot the ducks are members of a different fraternity at the university. The student who dumped the ducks, however, is not an official member, but is rushing that fraternity.
The students who shot the ducks claim they harvested the ducks legally. Nevertheless, Booth said charges may be pending for them because they did not dispose of them properly.
"The conservation department has talked with those individuals and as of right now there have been no charges filed, but they are possible," he told semissourian.com.
The duck dumper's name will not be released until the citation is filed with the Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney's office.
Richards told KFVS12.com that while incidents such as the duck dumping are unusual at the university, he does recall a similar one several years ago where dead animals were removed from the side of the road and placed on cars around campus.
"You just never know what will happen," he said, "in this business, there is something new every day."
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