A Wildlife Article from All-Creatures.org

1 dead swan, 2 floating ducks, and some beer cans in a willow tree

From Dr Lynley Tulloch, May Safely Graze
May 2024

It was fair to say that this horror made my blood run as cold as the river itself. Further upstream I found bags and bags of bottles and beer cans dumped just up on the bank. They spilled out and into the water, bobbing like the dead duck they were merging with. This duck had lost all the feathers on his neck.

Dead Swan
A dead Black Swan...

Just a few days after the opening of duck shooting season on 4 th May, 2024 I planned a kayak down a section of the Waikato River. The air was crisp as a Granny Smith apple and smelled dank. Before my journey had even begun my eyes caught sight of a beak and feathers wrapped in a black bag by a rubbish bin. Sure enough, there was a bag of dumped ducks, buzzing with flies and decomposing in the half-baked sun. The ducks with their broken wings and raw flesh were like ripe strawberries on the turn. They lay in their unsung grave, victims to the ‘sport’ of duck shooting.

The dumping of ducks is illegal according to the New Zealand Fish and Game Council. It can carry a fine of up to $5000. Drinking alcohol while hunting is also frowned upon by he New Zealand Fish and Game Council. However, judging by the amount of beer cans also in the rubbish bin the no-drinking rule seems to have been taken with a grain of salt.
It left a bad feeling. There was something terribly sad about the single wing that fluttered uselessly on the tarmac. I took a picture because I hoped it would say the thousand words that now caught like a river rock in my throat.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE. 

Posted on All-Creatures.org: May 2024
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