Friday, 9 December 2011

80-year-old ducks jail

80-year-old ducks jail
80-year-old ducks jail _Claire Butcher, an 80-year-old living outside of Boston, has spent the last 45 years providing bread crumbs, dog food, and other snacks to local water fowl.
But officials in Lynn, Massachusetts finally got fed up and slapped the octogenarian with criminal charges, saying that the influx of birds - and the excrement they left behind - was causing a major problem.

After numerous attempts to stop Ms Butcher from feeding the ducks, officials found her guilty of trespassing as well as ignoring a city ban not to feed the animals.

In 2009, Lynn officials made a deal with Ms Butcher after seeking an injunction, and she agreed to no longer feed the birds.
Officials said she repeatedly ignored that deal, trespassed on city property, and neglected to pay several fines.
Ms Butcher never negated the accusations, but has simple logic for continuing to feed the birds: ‘The animals in the park do not belong to the city of Lynn – they belong to God,’ she said.
Officials and neighbours alike are upset at the mess the birds leave behind at the ponds.
‘You can see how filthy it is over there and how many animals reside there. It’s because of the constant feeding by Ms Butcher,’ Lynn Attorney Vincent Phelan told WBZ-TV.
If prosecutors can prove she violated several ordinances, Ms Butcher could spend up to 30 days in jail.

The initial problem started in 2009, when Lynn officials got tired of all the complaints stemming from Ms Butcher’s bird feedings.
Residents said the Lynn resident would bring shopping carts full of food for the fowl, which left them with an awful mess in local parks and beyond.
Some neighbours complained of feathers getting stuck on their roofs, and others were upset they couldn’t go on a stroll around the park without walking in piles of duck droppings.

‘She’s flaunting this and the neighbours are fed up with it,’ nearby resident Allissa Kummel said.
‘She’s a nice old woman and that’s her joy in life. But it’s a big problem for the city, as well…it’s piles and piles of bird poop.’
Ms Butcher said she’s just trying to feed a few domesticated ducks, and writes off the city’s reaction as despicable.
‘I guess Lynn has nothing else to do besides chase an 80-year-old woman down the street for feeding ducks,’ she said.

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