ALBANY, Ore. — On the afternoon before the Oregon Ducks beat the Oregon State Beavers in the annual Civil War football game, a male mallard was found in Albany, spray-painted Beaver orange with its legs duct-taped together.
The duck survived, but its feathers no longer shed water. If set free, it wouldn’t be able swim.
“Insane,” said Jeff Picton, executive director of the nonprofit Chintimini Wildlife Center, where the bird must spend the winter.
The wildlife rehabilitation center found it couldn’t get the paint off.
“Anything we put on there would be more toxic than the paint,” Picton told the Albany Democrat-Herald.
The only alternative is to keep the duck through the winter until it molts and develops a new coat of feathers.
Picton said the duck ingested some paint as it tried to preen.
Its eyes are clear, though, because it likely closed them when it was sprayed.
Some of the paint reached the bird’s skin. Picton said he didn’t know whether the bird would suffer from that.
Albany police took the animal to Chintimini after it was found near Linn-Benton Community College.
The center is near Corvallis, home of the Beavers.
Picton said he would consult with the animal control officer to see if anything could be learned about the perpetrator.
He also intended to check with the Audubon Society about posting a reward for catching whoever was responsible.
“I hope somebody knows something,” Picton said.