RSPCA wildlife inspectors are investigating after a group of around 100 Mallard ducks with their wings clipped were abandoned on the River Slea.
The apparently domesticated birds, rendered flightless, have stuck together on the river after being released near the allotments at the bottom of The Drove, where allotment holders Matt and Karen Laing of Sleaford noticed and became concerned, reporting the matter to the RSPCA.
Mr Laing said: “I have noticed a growing number of these ducks in the past two weeks and it is clear that they have been abandoned to fend for themselves in what must be a hostile environment which they’re not accustomed to.
“I spoke with some people on Sunday who were walking their dogs along the river path and they said that the ducks had been dumped there and were starving. The ducks appear to be surviving on handouts from walkers and allotment owners and they are clearly vulnerable to predators. There is evidence of some of these ducks perishing in the river which could bring disease to the waters.”
He went on “They do not seem to know how to feed themselves and must be absolutely starving. It is such a sad thing to see.
“The duck population is massive down there now. I have no idea where they have come from.”
A spokesperson for the RSPCA, said inspectors had visited the location and would continue to monitor the birds: “The birds are currently being fed by members of the community, and they are able to move freely up and down the river to search for more food sources.
“It does appear that some of the birds’ wings have been clipped, but these birds are found naturally in Britain and are native birds and the feathers will eventually re-grow.” She said they should be safe on the water. “Should the situation change, then clearly we will act accordingly.”
Some allotment holders welcomed the ducks while others were not so keen on them feeding on their plots.
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