BRECKSVILLE, Ohio-- A family of ducks has become an important part of the education of students at Highland Drive Elementary School in Brecksville.
The ducks, which were donated by Ann Koepke and her family, lived in the courtyard of the school and are visited daily by many of the 300 students here.
"Some children don't have pets at home so it really means that it's the only pets they're going to have. They love to come in and seem them and interact with them," Koepke said.
That's why students, parents and administrators were saddened to learn that four suspects came to the school on Sept. 17 to break into the duck enclosure. The group stole two ducks, badly injuring one of them.
Surveillance video shows two of the suspects leaving the courtyard. One of them is carrying a duck and struggles to hang onto the bird as it tries to break free.
"I was horrified. I mean, who does that? Who takes 300 kids' pets?" Koepke said. "The police officers that were here said, 'Who would want to hurt one of these?'"
One of the ducks was found.
"Somebody did call and say they found a loud squawking white duck and it didn't belong at the lake that they found it," Koepke said.
The other duck suffered a broken wing and is being treated by an aviary specialist.
"Somebody had to have either pulled the duck by the wing to try and pick her up or to just move her or somebody had fallen on her because it is broke really badly," Koepke said.
Anyone with information should call the Brecksville Police Department.