Luck’s now on the side of dying ducks
Efforts are underway to save Tokoroa’s quacking, webbedfooted residents, after months of on-going duck deaths at Lake Moananui.
Dozens of ducks have been dying in the man-made lake from suspected botulism and little is being done to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Craig Shepherd from the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust is now saying enough is enough.
Shepherd, who has over 400 ducks on his Ohariu Valley duck rescue facility, said he was saddened after reading about the deaths.
So on Tuesday, April 11 he will travel over five hours to the South Waikato town with members of his team to spend two days removing any dead ducks in the lake and capturing any sick ones which will be taken back to Wellington for treatment.
‘‘I understand the council can’t do a lot about the problem as it is a bacteria which is found right the way around New Zealand but I thought we can do something so we have decided to come up, and with the help of the council and its animal control team catch as many as we can,’’ he said.
He said while his team will be bringing all the specialist gear for the job they are still in need of dinghies or the like to get out on the water.
‘‘We are hoping there will be locals who might have a raft or dingy who will be able to help us out on the Wednesday from around 9am,’’ he said.
He said while the operation would cost the trust thousands to carry out, it was worth it.
‘‘They are usually sick for about a month but by giving them fluid everyday and flushing the bacteria out of their bodies they can come right,’’ he said.
‘‘It saddens me when any animal is left uncared for when something can be done.’’
He said the trust plans to use the situation as a chance to learn more about botulism.
‘‘Later this year we might look at doing a study on how best to treat mass botulism so hopefully what we learn from this incident can also help other communities throughout the country,’’ he said.
South Waikato District Council communications manager Kerry Fabrie said the council was keen to work with the trust.
‘‘The council is aware of how distressing this season has been for lake users,’’ she said.
Craig Shepherd from the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust.