There were two pieces of information revealed today on Acadiana's Morning News about the ducks at Girard Park that neither one of us knew.

You might not be aware that sometimes baby ducklings given as Easter gifts are often dumped off at Girard Park, and you really shouldn't feed the ducks bread.

Rob and I learned these new lessons while interviewing Letitia Labbie with Acadiana Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation.

We called her to talk about the ducks that have been sick and dying at the park, and she spent time telling us about some of the things she is doing to try to help the ducks.

On Monday, a rash of duck deaths was reported at Girard Park.  Some of the bodies have been sent to the LSU Veterinary School so that they each will get a necropsy.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is also trying to get to the bottom of the cause of their symptoms which Labbie describes as more neurological in nature.

Aside from any neurological issues that may be an explanation of the duck deaths, it was also mentioned that giving bread to birds is not a good thing. It leads to something that Labbie calls "Angel Wing" in ducks. The bird's joints get twisted at the tip. She says that it can severely limit the birds' ability to fly. She recommends that if you are going to the park to feed the ducks that you bring peas, corn, cracked corn, or birdseed. The excessive feeding of bread leads to this condition she says.

Another issue regarding ducks is the idea of giving a duckling as a present, and then when the bird becomes too much to tend to, the duck owners will sometimes drive over to Girard Park and leave the animal to fend for itself. Labbie says it's just not a good idea to take a bird that is not used to a natural environment and introduce the bird into that environment. She is asking people not to drop off their ducks at Girard Park.


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