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Wildlife and Fisheries investigating after several ducks were found ill, dead at Girard Park

Residents asked to not drop off ducks at the park
Posted at 4:43 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 12:25:28-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — Wildlife and Fisheries agents are now investigating after several ducks were found ill or dead at Girard Park.

A Lafayette resident made the discovery this week and his post on Facebook has now been shared more than 500 times.

During Caleb Meaux's trip to Girard park earlier this week, he found several dead ducks in and around the pond.

With the assistance of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and the Acadiana Wildlife Education and Rehab Organization, information is being gathered relative to the duck population at Girard Park.

The spring/summer season annually results in an increased population of ducks at this location.

ducks at park.JPG

During Caleb Meaux's trip to the park earlier this week, he found several dead ducks in and around the pond. He also found several other ducks struggling to walk.

"He was just lethargic and he was trying to flap, but not going anywhere. Everyday since Monday, I've made a round around the park to make sure all of the ducks got up and moved," Meaux said.

He took the sick ducks to the Acadiana Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation center.

Meaux said, "I hope that we find out what the problem is and that it's not purposefully being done."

Letitia Labbie runs Acadiana Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation. She said the ducks are showing neurological issues and said what's happening at the park is unusual.

"These birds are in critical condition," Labbie said. "They're unable to use their legs, they are showing neurological signs. They can use their wings, but can't use their legs. They're panting, gasping for air."

Labbie is running blood tests and sent several of the dead ducks to the LSU Vet Lab for testing to figure out what's going on.

"It's critical to figure out what's happening," Labbie said. "Until we know exactly what's causing the problem, we're only taking a shot in the dark at what to treat them with."

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist is investigating. We're told the majority of ducks at the park are muscovy ducks which are a domestic bread.

If Wildlife and Fisheries finds and sick or dead ducks, they will have them tested to find out if there is potentially a disease outbreak or if the birds are dying from natural causes.

Lafayette Consolidated Government/Parks and Recreation Department owns the property, but not the ducks and does not have any employed veterinary professionals on staff. The ducks are gifts from citizens in the community.

The public is asked not to drop off any ducks at Girard Park in Lafayette and refrain from feeding them items that could pose a threat to their safety, according to Nourine Lanerie, Director's Executive Secretary, Lafayette Consolidated Government Parks and Recreation.

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