Ducks all adrift in King’s Park

THE KING’S Park duck pond, usually a haven for feathery floaters, briefly became a “death trap for ducklings” when heartless vandals threw three ramps on the water’s edge into the middle of the pond.

For the little quackers, this casual act of vandalism turned the overhang into an insurmountable barrier – so ducklings got stranded in deep water when they couldn’t follow mother-duck back out of the pond.

The avian disaster prompted one concerned observer to organise park-goers into a citizen action group; shepherding nine baby birds toward a rock where escape was possible.

• A mother duck with a plump of ducklings. In the background - one of the permanently affixed duck escape ramps which is essential for duckling safety.

• A mother duck with a plump of ducklings. In the background – one of the permanently affixed duck escape ramps which is essential for duckling safety.

With responsibility thrust upon him, the unlikely ornithologist contacted the Voice to complain about the pond’s design.

As it turned out, the duckling brood had not been forsaken by the Botanical Gardens and Park Authority – which knew about the crisis and had taken steps to make the pond more duck friendly.

“On investigation, BGPA staff found that someone had dislodged the ramps we usually have in place for this purpose and thrown them into the pond away from the edge. The ramps have been retrieved and more permanently fixed in position at the pond edge, reinstating the three exit points for ducklings,” executive officer Liz Suttie said.

by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM

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