- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Rescuers have captured more than 30 domesticated ducks and geese from a lake at an El Paso park as part of an effort targeting up to 200 birds abandoned by their owners.

The rescue at Ascarate Park earlier this week was a collaborative effort between El Paso County officials and the Stick House Sanctuary, a local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organization, the El Paso Times (https://bit.ly/1Qmmqof ) reported.

Volunteers say the majority of the saved birds appeared to be suffering from starvation. Some of the injured animals will be taken to the El Paso County Coliseum and quarantined for up to two weeks.

Ducks and geese are often bought as pets around Easter, according to the members of the Stick House Sanctuary. Owners who no longer care for them or don’t want them release them in parks and ponds not realizing that the birds don’t survive long when left alone.

County officials plan to increase public awareness of the issue. El Paso County Chief Administrator Steve Norwood said signs will be added around the park to warn people of the dangers of leaving domestic animals at the park.

“I think there is a really big education gap that hopefully we can correct,” Norwood said. “El Paso County wants to do the right thing, whether it is with the environment or with animals. There are very specific laws on abandoning animals and there are specific laws on animal cruelty, and we’re going to play our part (in stopping it).”

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Information from: El Paso Times, https://www.elpasotimes.com


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