No sign of duck signs
Putting up signs at Western Springs to deter people from feeding swimming ducks has been no walk in the park.
The Auckland City Council signs were meant to go up several weeks ago to stop the public throwing bread into the lake, because it can lead to ducks becoming sick.
“They need to make it official,” says one Western Springs park officer.
“I tell people not to feed the ducks and they tell me to bugger off.”
He says people think the rule is silly because it is commonplace to feed the ducks but they do not understand the reasoning behind it.
Council parks adviser David Barker says in early February there was an outbreak of botulism and so it was considering putting up temporary signs.
“This was to address claims that the presence of bread in the lake was exacerbating a naturally occurring outbreak of botulism,” he says.
Food-borne botulism is an illness caused by eating foods that contain botulin toxins.
The park officer says during the height of the problem he was spending two to three hours a day dealing with dead ducks.
But now the signs may not even be put up and park staff say they are unclear on the current situation .
According to Mr Barker, the high rainfall levels in the second half of February and a general drop in temperatures since that period has led to a large reduction in the number of birds becoming infected. He says signs were not put up for that reason.
The council says it will re-evaluate the situation next summer.