Bird Sanctuary Cull: Upset locals accuse Ezemvelo of not killing exotic ducks cleanly

2011-12-09 00:00

BUSINESS owners at the Lakeside complex in Armitage Road are upset over a cull of ducks at the Bird Sanctuary lake there, while ornithologist Dr Mark Brown has defended the actions of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

Armitage Road property manager Mike Chaplin said: “This is private property and they [the wildlife officers] should not have been there. We are the ones who feed the ducks.”

A source who works nearby said some ducks were not killed cleanly but “ran out of the water bleeding profusely”.

“The birds are extremely tame and visitors from all over come daily to feed them,” said the source.

Chaplin said he was not informed about the “conservation exercise”.

Brown, an ornithologist at the University of KZN, said Ezemvelo did the right thing, because for years experts have been trying to have exotic ducks removed. He told The Witness that exotic ducks such as mallards “chase away and rape indigenous ducks”.

“Hybridising is a great threat because this weakens the genes of our indigenous species.”

There used to be about 50 indigenous ducks on the lake, but now only 10 to 20 are left, with about 30 exotics invading the area, Brown said.

Indigenous ducks include Egyptian geese and yellow-billed and white face ducks.

”People feel sorry because these ducks are cute, but they are dangerous to our indigenous species. Hopefully our indigenous species will come back after this,” Brown added.

Ezemvelo said it will release a statement today.

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