Feed the ducks

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I’ve always been proud of Memorial University for a number of reasons — one of which was the university’s concern for the population of wild ducks living on Burton’s Pond in the middle of campus. I was worried for their breeding ground when “improvements” were made to the south side of the pond; so imagine my consternation when in late 2012 I heard the “no feeding” order.

My feelings were, however, somewhat mitigated by the news that the ducks were to be removed to Quidi Vidi or Bowring Park. The recent disclosure by two biology professors that the ducks were dying of starvation was therefore shocking, and I am deeply upset!

I have been feeding the duck population in Burton’s Pond for more than six decades. I have never seen a rat in the vicinity. In fact, the ducks gobble up the food so that few crumbs are left and the gulls who also hang out there immediately devour any larger pieces; the pigeon population pecks out the tiny bits that may remain. Perhaps the rat infestation is related to overloaded dumpsters by the student residences?

Please give the order to remove the “no feeding” signs so that we duck-

feeders and supporters may continue to enjoy these creatures.

Elizabeth Scammell-Reynolds

St. John’s

Geographic location: Bowring Park

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Recent comments

  • Mun student
    February 04, 2013 - 19:19

    Everything MUN does is backwards. Why in the world would they remove ash trays with the logic that it will force people to stop smoking... instead of throwing butts on the ground. Not a grain of common sense in that university as the Breezeways financial records will clearly show you.

  • Jim
    February 03, 2013 - 11:59

    Everyone who works at MUN knows: If administration tells us not to do something, we probably should go and do it.

  • Gary
    February 02, 2013 - 11:08

    There are plenty of rats at Burton's Pond, and the pigeons are no better. Wander through campus and you'll notice that the ducks don't move when approached by a person and the water in the pond is an impenetrable murky brown. It's long past time the birds were moved along.

  • Marie
    February 02, 2013 - 10:53

    Thanks Ms. Reynolds for writing your piece. When I lived in the MUN residence, we often had to run through a large group of ducks to get to our dining hall. It was almost like they were blockading the door. At the time, it was a nuisance, but now it is a fond memory. The students currently living in there, should ban together and bring their leftovers down to the pond and feed their feathered neighbours! It might not be the best solution, but I bet a couple of days of leftover meals for the ducks, would make the university change their stance!

  • Amen
    February 02, 2013 - 10:34

    Finally, a sensible voice in the media. Do not blame the duck feeding for the rats. Blame the overflowing dumpsters near the banks of the pond at the residences. So the problem is not with the average feeder, it is with the administration taking care of the garbage.

  • Duffy
    February 02, 2013 - 09:36

    I am so impressed with the intelligence found at MUM. Don't feed the ducks as it promotes life is what I guess they were saying. It takes 4 to 8 years of education to figure that one out. Thank goodness someone there has common sense! Do the ones that made the "no feed" decision also own Beagles tied outside on 4' ropes in the winter without shelter?