Ducks Dying in Lake Forest; Bread to Blame

An important reminder: wildlife doesn’t need your non-wild food.

Dozens of dead and dying ducks have been discovered at ponds and lakes around Lake Forest, apparently the victims of botulism poisoning which causes infected birds to lose muscle control and often drown.

Residents have reported finding hen and drake mallards floating in the lakes and acting erratically on nearby grasses.

Orange County Animal Care has picked up some of the ducks, while others have been taken to the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach.

According to the Orange County Register:

Anne Breuer, a Lake I resident, is concerned bread being fed to the ducks at Village Pond Park coupled with the recent heat and algae forming in the water are contributing to the growth of botulism.

“The city does no enforcement,” Breuer said of regulations prohibiting feeding ducks. “I’ve seen a baker’s truck unload at the duck pond and people out there all day with non-duck food. It’s very sad to see them just dying and flopping around.”

In addition to ingesting botulism from bread, birds can also get the deadly disease by eating maggots that are feeding on the carcasses of dead birds.

So you. With the bread bag. Go back home and toss your old bread in the trash.

(Photo: Mallards on a lake, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)