8 THE QUEENS COURIER • DECEMBER 17, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Urban Park Rangers help rescue 11 illegally
dumped domestic ducks from Flushing pond
BY GABRIELE HOLTERMANN
Do not dump domestic ducks in New
York City parks — or any other animals
for that matter. Th is was the message NYC
Urban Park Rangers and activists of the
rescue organization “Th ey All Want to
Live” had for New York City residents in
Flushing on Friday, Dec. 11.
Th e rangers and activists came to the
rescue of 11 domestic ducks that were
illegally dumped in a pond in Flushing’s
Bowne Park sometime in the middle of
November. Edita Birnkrant, the executive
director of NYCLASS, and Mary Beth
Artz, a New York state wildlife rehabilitator,
suspect that a street vendor who tried
to sell ducks outside Maple playground in
Flushing dumped the group of waterfowl
in the pond.
With locals looking on and under the
watchful eye of the wild geese that call the
pond home, the rescue operation was a
surprisingly quick aff air. Th e team comprised
of park rangers in canoes and volunteers
— some of them wearing water
waders braving the cold pond water —
corralled the ducks to safe shores. Once
the ducks were steered to a pen that was
set up on the edge of the pond, they were
captured with nets and put in pet carriers.
Unlike wild geese and ducks, domesticated
ducks cannot survive in the wild.
Unable to fl y because of their large bodies
and small wings, the Bowne Park
ducks were in danger of succumbing to
either the elements, predators or starving
to death once the mercury dips below 32
degrees and the pond freezes over.
Artz, who has been rescuing ducks for
years, has noticed an increase in illegal
duck dumping in the past eight months
and thinks the COVID-19 pandemic
might be the cause.
“We have been doing duck rescue nonstop
for the last eight months since the
pandemic started,” Artz said. “We have
been doing it for many years, but this
year particular, because people have been
home, you can buy ducklings online. Th ey
ship them through the mail, and people
pick them up at the post offi ce. Once the
novelty of the ducklings, the fuzzy, cute
stage wears off , they are incredibly hard
to take care of in an apartment or home.”
“I don’t think it’s malicious,” Artz continued.
“Th ey don’t realize that the
ducks are domestic and can’t survive in
the wild like the mallard. So, they think
that it’s a good thing that they are doing
by dumping them to be free in a pond. It’s
a death sentence.”
Bonny McGuire, director at NYC Urban
Park Rangers, agreed.
“It defi nitely happened pre-pandemic,
but we have seen a slight uptick since the
pandemic happened,” McGuire said.
McGuire took the opportunity to
reminded New Yorkers that domestic animals
do not belong in public parks.
“If you have a pet of any kind, a snake, a
dog, a cat, a turtle, a duck, don’t take them
to the park. It’s not a place for them,” she
Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
said. “It won’t be good for them or the
Th e rescued ducks were taken to Goose
Pond Mountain, an animal sanctuary in
Goshen, New York, where they will be as
“happy as a duck in New York” living in
a predator-proof enclosure with kiddie
pools in the summer.
With the purchase of glasses,
contact lens e l.
2 Boxes of Lenses Frames & Lenses
PLUS FREE 2ND PAIR
* $200 minimum purchase on first pair of designer
frames. Second pair frame from select group with
Must present prior to purchase. Offer valid at this
location only. Not valid with any other offers, sales,
vision plans or packages.
Offer ends 12/31/20
offers, sales, vision plans or packages. Must present
prior to purchase. Offer valid at this location only.
Offer ends: 12/31/20
brand clear sphericalLenses/*Contact
lens fitting additional. Not valid for Toric lenses. Not valid with
any other offers, sales, vision plans or packages. Must
present prior to purchase. Offer valid at this location only.
Some restrictions apply, see store for details.
Offer ends: 12/31/20
Select frames with clear plastic, single vision lensas
vision plans or packages. Must present prior to purchase.
Offer valid at this location only. Some restrictions apply,
see store for details
Offer ends: 12/31/20
9 FLEX SPENDING 9
USE IT OR LOSE IT!