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Stevens Point parks director urges residents not to feed ducks and geese


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- It may be tradition to head out in the warm summer months and feed the ducks by the river, but parks officials are saying that could be harmful.

Stevens Point Parks director Tom Schrader says it just isn't good for the birds. "It's not healthy for the animals to be fed that way. There's enough they can eat naturally, they don't need to be supplemented with breads and different things that are really hard on their digestive system." The feeding can also push the birds into unnatural feeding and roosting patterns, keeping them in place long after they should have moved on to other climates.

All those ducks and geese in one spot isn't good for the parks either. "The other thing is the mess that's created with the food leftover. Rotted bread, and stuff like that, and the mess that ducks and geese leave after they have to get rid of what they ate." Schrader says all that waste causes nuisance calls to his and other departments.

Schrader says the good news is this year isn't so bad for the ducks, unlike in past drier years. "Because there's so much rain that the vegetation is everywhere for them to eat. But the more people encourage and feed them, the more they're going to want to show up and be there."

Schrader is asking that people just enjoy watching the ducks as they are, and let them go on without that bit of bread you may have been saving.