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Duck Dynasty Causing Dilemma in Houlton

| October 30, 2013

A number of ducks can often be seen calmly basking in the sun in a Houlton pond. Sometimes as many as fifty or sixty. Unaware of all the issues they’re causing by just BEING HERE. That’s because THE POND is located right next to Route One, an often busy roadway. Ducks have been seen crossing the roadway in search of food, posing a potential danger of accidents to motorists and the ducks, themselves. Gary McGuire is a Houlton patrol officer and explains the ongoing problem. “The problem is people are feeding the ducks more and more ducks continue to gather the related issue to that 8, 10, 12 ducks can be crossing the road at the same time everybody stops to look they’re cute but we’re concerned about accidents and possibility of ducks getting hit.” Workers at the Shiretown Inn & Suites which is next to the pond says the ducks have come every year for nearly fifty years. As they expect to see the ducks, they also expect to see people feeding them. They’re a DUCK DYNASTY of sorts to see them migrate. But they’re numbers make them a DILEMMA. And with that many birds in the pond at one time, workers say they’re not surprised some RESIDENTS FEATHERS ARE RUFFLED. Ann Merritt is a manager of the Shiretown Inn & Suites and says “Yes, their feces does create a problem but we try to tell everybody that comes is to make sure children don’t sit down in it and stand back away from the grass.” Officer McGuire says its not just feces. He says the number of ducks in that small body of water can harm the pond’s overall ecosystem. “The more ducks that gather there the more people stop to feed the ducks and the problem increases so we like to ask people to stop feeding the ducks hopefully they’ll find another pond somewhere not near a roadway.” Merritt adds “They can survive on their own without people feeding them but they are so used to it now from so many years of their parents coming here and the new babies they get used to it so when they come back that’s what they expect.” McGuire says there have been reported incidents of ducks being run over by motorists. He says there have been no reported incidents of motorists being hurt as a result of the ducks crossing the roadway, but that’s what the department is hoping to prevent by putting out more awareness.

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