OWLS Could Have Saved Ducks
It's getting to be a problem every Spring. A booming population of ducks at a landmark park in Ocala. Last year, hundreds were handed off to a wildlife sanctuary. This year is a very different story, and the rescue group had no idea.
"They were out here poisoning the ducks, letting them fall down, netting them up and chasing them into the water and they were drowning," said Kenneth Lane, Vice-president of the Ocala Wild Life Sanctuary, or OWLS.
Two weeks ago, the City of Ocala paid the U.S. Department of Agriculture $2,400, a seven-month contract, to "remove" ducks from Tuscawilla Park in Ocala. Last week, about two dozen were taken away.
"USDA put sedatives on bread crumbs and the ducks went to sleep and they were removed off site and euthanized," said Sonny Allen, spokesperson for the City of Ocala. The problem; overpopulation.
"There's usually a couple dozen ducks over there," added Allen, "we can live with that, but when they start multiplying, it can get out of hand, quick."
However people with OWLS, say the city could have saved money by handing the ducks over to them, which the city opted to do last year.
"We had told them that they could have just called, we would be more than glad to relocate those ducks with out having to put any harm on them," said Lane.
Last year the OWLS sanctuary group transferred about 400 ducks to an Ocala farm, just 20 miles north of Tuscawilla Park.
"That helped a lot," said Allen, "we got rid of a lot of ducks that way but the problem is, they got enough ducks there now, and they don't need anymore."
However, the owners of the 700-acre farm, who wish not to be identified, said they have more than enough room, and would welcome more ducks.
Right now, the city says the duck population is under control, but city leaders say they may be forced to contact the USDA should it increase again.
"There are more people coming to that park, and now we got hundreds of children instead of hundreds of ducks," said Allen.
The owls sanctuary group maintains that euthanizing the ducks is not their only option.
Click here for the OWLS website.
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