It’s date night in the West End. You enjoy a lovely meal at a neighbourhood bistro, you hold hands walking down towards Lost Lagoon, the setting sun casts a beam of light across the water illuminating weeping willow trees, and then… the birds start to swarm. Seagulls, swans, ducks, Canadian Geese and an American Coot.
It will be tempting to take a photo to post to Instagram, and that’s just fine. But be sure to resist the urge to feed any creature you see in Stanley Park.
Ducks eat a mix of aquatic plants and insects to stay healthy and anything aside from that can be severely detrimental.
This summer the Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”) launched #QuackSnacks, an event with the purpose of educating park visitors about this practice. SPES asserts: “Feeding ducks is so unhealthy that organizations including the US National Parks Service and the BC SPCA consider it indirect animal cruelty.”
The way I see it, we are a culture concerned with eating local, natural and organic so why do we impose the exact opposite on our feathered friends in the park? A commenter on the #QuackSnacks event added that as long as bread and seed mix is handed out, [ducks] will not move on to forage for their natural foods.
So be a good neighbour to the creatures in our city’s crown jewel. Visit, enjoy, play, photograph, and soak up its natural beauty. But please, don’t feed the ducks in Stanley Park.