UNION COUNTY, Pa. — The first thing most people notice when they come to Fairground Road Park near Lewisburg is a large number of ducks. There are more than 100.
"We're trying to discourage people from feeding them. That will naturally cause the population to come back into balance rather than having an over-concentration of so many ducks in one place," said Jim Knight, chair of the East Buffalo Township supervisors.
Knight says since 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture has tested ducks at this location for avian influenza.
"It's been a fairly routine process that USDA comes in to do — testing for bird flu. They'll capture the ducks, test them, and they'll work with the (Pennsylvania) Game Commission to tag them so they can track their movements."
Knight says this year, people have been illegally dumping pet ducks here and that those domestic ducks are mating with wild ducks. The problem with that is domestic ducks do not migrate and cannot survive long-term in this weather. Knight says about 20 percent of the ducks are domestic and need to be rehomed.
Recently, there was a buzz on social media that the ducks would be euthanized.
"We never planned to euthanize the ducks. We just hoped to reduce the population and take care of the domestic ducks."
Because of the buzz, the ducks have generated on social media, a duck advocate group from Long Island offered to help.
"They offered to remove the domestic ducks if they could find a suitable location to relocate them."
The ducks are expected to be removed from the park sometime next month. Knight says the wild ducks will be tested for bird flu and brought back to the park if they are healthy.
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