The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League: Feeding of Ducks and Ducklings Puts Them in Danger, Causes Health Risks

Friday, July 15, 2016

Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League: Feeding of Ducks and Ducklings Puts Them in Danger, Causes Health Risks

Washington, DC -  Families of ducks living in the Capitol Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C. are being put in harm’s way due to people feeding the ducks and ducklings.  The Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League is encouraging people frequenting the Capitol Reflecting Pool to stop feeding the ducks, as the ducklings are becoming separated from their mother and are unable to return to water.   The ducks are also being fed a dangerous diet of bread and crackers.

“This is a potentially dangerous situation that could be avoided,” said Lisa LaFontaine, WHS-WARL President and CEO.  “While we understand the public’s fascination with these ducklings, feeding them causes the ducklings to leave the water in an area in which they cannot return to the pool without assistance.  In addition, the public is feeding the ducks bread, which is harmful to their digestive systems.  We call on all members of the public to refrain from feeding waterfowl for both of these important reasons.”

The families of ducks call the Capitol Reflecting Pool home.  With thousands of visitors to the Capitol Reflecting Pool daily, people are tempted to lure the ducklings closer with food, so that they can get a better view of these charming birds.  However as the ducklings move closer to the edge of the pool to find the food, they inadvertently step off of the pool and over the retaining wall.  At that point, they may not find their way back into the pool without assistance. 

Feeding the ducks bread is another dangerous issue.  Ducks that are fed bread can develop health issues, including “Angel Wing,” a condition that causes their wings to twist outward and prevents them from flying.  Ducks that cannot fly cannot escape predators and are often hit by automobiles and other vehicles. 

City Wildlife, an organization based in Washington, DC, works with Architect of the Capitol and, along with WHS-WARL, monitors the ducks and ducklings and returns them to the water each day.

About (WHS-WARL) The Washington Humane Society -Washington Animal Rescue League combined organization cares for more than 60,000 animals annually. The broad range of programs offered include: rescue and adoption, humane law enforcement, low-cost veterinary services, animal care & control, behavior and training, spay-neuter services, humane education, and many others.  Operating four animal-care facilities in Washington, D.C., the organization occupies a significant footprint in the District, and serves as a resource to current pet guardians and prospective adopters across the region.  Together, the organizations offer one, dynamic, industry-leading animal welfare organization in the Nation’s Capital; creating a unified vision for a model urban community for all animals – pets and wildlife alike – and the people who love them.

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