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Park manager exploring alternatives to euthanizing ducks


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Park manager exploring alternatives to euthanizing ducks

By Christy Dimond. CREATED Aug 20, 2013

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - At first glance, the dozens of muscovy ducks seen near trees or swimming in the water at Julia Park mobile home in North Fort Myers may seem harmless.  However, the ducks are considered a nuisance animal and the park manager said he's working to arrange the best way to deal with the situation. 


Fox 4 In Your Corner first brought you this story last week, when concerned residents contacted us after hearing the ducks were going to be euthanized.  Park manager Len Olson said the last thing he wants is to have this ducks euthanized.  


"We are trying to do the humane thing here," Olson said. 


The problem is the amount of ducks on the property.  The population has tripled in the last two years, according to Olson, and now the 70 ducks are a public health concern. 


"There's feces all over the place… it's an ecoli situation," he said.  "The health of our residents is the priority. These ducks, I don't want to see any of them killed, but my responsibility is to the residents of this park… that nobody gets sick and nobody gets hurt." 


Olson said he must do something about the ducks or, potentially, face health code violations. He said his goal is to have the ducks removed rather than euthanized, but removing the ducks isn't easy.  In fact, it's illegal for someone to try to move the ducks without getting proper approval from the state, which requires state employees to inspect the location the ducks would be going to ensure adequate space exists for them to live.  


Olson is working with an animal rescue agency that agreed to remove the ducks.  Now, he's just waiting for the agency to get approval to remove the ducks.  


"[The rescue] contacted me and we've told them we'll wait and it's a status quo right now we're just waiting," he said. 


Today, the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida sent a letter to the managers of Julia Park asking them to consider non-lethal methods of controlling the duck population, such as through egg collection or enforcing the Lee County ordinance that prohibits humans from feeding the ducks.  Olson said he is more than willing to work with the foundation on some of these alternatives, if the rescue agency doesn't get approval to remove the ducks.