Rub­ber duckie, you’re the one

The Daily Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By RON SEY­MOUR

Hun­dreds of rub­ber duck­ies were dumped into Trepanier Creek in Peach­land on Satur­day in an an­nual fundraiser that sup­ports the preser­va­tion of bat habi­tat.

De­spite the best ef­forts of fish­er­men and boaters, a few of the al­most 700 rub­ber duck­ies used in a fundraiser bobbed out to sea Satur­day. Well, Okana­gan Lake, any­way. “I found one of the ducks, up­side down and caught in sea­weed,” Doris Muhs, an or­ga­nizer of the fifth an­nual Rub­ber Ducky Race said Sun­day, adding with a laugh: “I risked my life to save that duck.”

The num­bered ducks, sold in ad­vance for $5 apiece, were dumped en masse into Trepanier Creek to see which one would first en­ter Okana­gan Lake about 300 me­tres dis­tant.

The owner of the num­bered duck won $900, and there were sev­eral sub­sidiary prizes.

At the mouth of the creek, to the amuse­ment of many on­look­ers, fish­er­men with nets stopped most of the ducks from en­ter­ing the lake.

Peo­ple aboard boats scooped up any that did elude the nets.

The crowd-pleas­ing event is a fundraiser for the Bat Ed­u­ca­tion and Eco­log­i­cal Pro­tec­tion So­ci­ety. It was ex­pected to raise about $2,500, with the money go­ing to­ward the pur­chase of more cam­eras to be in­stalled in an old school­house on Beach Av­enue.

The build­ing, now used as a vis­i­tor in­for­ma­tion cen­tre and art gallery, is be­lieved to house one of the big­gest colonies of bats in Bri­tish Columbia.

The ad­di­tion of more cam­eras will al­low for re­mote view­ing of the colony with­out dis­turb­ing the bats. Bats are im­por­tant for the en­vi­ron­ment be­cause they eat mos­qui­toes and other in­sects, says Dar­lene Hartford, the so­ci­ety pres­i­dent.

BARB AGUIAR/The Daily Courier

BARB AGUIAR/The Daily Courier

Fin­lay Airth, 3, shows off his rub­ber ducky ready to bob down Trepanier Creek in one of the kid­die duck races.

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