SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A local nature photographer blames littering, especially fishing lines, for leaving several ducks and geese with no feet at a popular family gathering spot. It's all happening at the Duck Pond in the 12-hundred block of East Kings Highway in Shreveport.
Some blame the problem on litter. The ducks and geese are getting tangled up in it, especially old fishing lines. Over time, it can choke off their feet or legs. But, finding a lasting solution to the problem could prove to be nearly as elusive as trying to catch one of the birds.
Feeding the ducks and geese at Shreveport's Duck Pond is for many a family tradition. But when local nature photographer John Wright came here Wednesday, December 11 to take some pictures, it's what he didn't see that disturbed him: A duck and a goose both missing their feet.
Back in August, Wright showed us pictures of the same duck. Back then it still had an old fishing line wrapped around its left leg. Now, part of that leg is gone. "Just kind of makes you feel sad that couldn't do anything about it, you know," said Wright.
Wright did call SPAR, the city organization that maintains the park. And SPAR Maintenance Manager Joe Brown did come out with us to help find the injured duck:
JOE BROWN: "Oh, it's completely black?
JOHN WRIGHT: "Completely black, yeah. And he's twice the size. He's almost the size of a goose."
While we searched for that duck, we did find the injured goose right away, hopping on one leg. Then, nearly an hour later, we spotted the duck. But, it wouldn't leave the water, even with the temptation of food.
Wright recalled his first reaction when he spotted the duck on Wednesday. "My first instinct was to try to catch it, you know, but you try to catch a duck it's harder than you think."
That's no exaggeration:
JOE BROWN: "We've never caught one."
JOE BROWN: "No."
And Brown added that even if you do catch one, then what? He argues that the birds have the most available food, to help keep them alive, right here at the Duck Pond.
Brown said SPAR crews remove trash, including old fishing lines, twice a week here to help curb the problem. As for posting 'no littering' signs: "We could. We've had signs like that. They disappear," said Brown.
Brown concluded that the real solution is public awareness about the dangers of littering to the wildlife, especially those old fishing lines. He hopes stories like this will get the word out and make a difference.