Ducks dying at Keighley Tarn beauty spot

Keighley News: Dorothy Tennant, of the Friends of Keighley (Redcar) Tarn, feeding ducks and other fowl at the beauty spot Dorothy Tennant, of the Friends of Keighley (Redcar) Tarn, feeding ducks and other fowl at the beauty spot

Ducks are dying needlessly at Keighley Tarn after being dumped by uncaring owners, a bird lover has revealed.

Dorothy Tennant claims dom-esticated ducks are regularly left to fend for themselves at the beauty spot.

She said Muscovy ducks were particularly at risk because they get run over while crossing Black Hill Lane to eat grass from the opposite verge.

Mrs Tennant added about half-a-dozen Muscovys were dumped each year, and within weeks, all of them have been killed.

She was, this week, hoping to catch the current six-strong colony, with permission from Bradford Council’s wildlife department.

She said: “We have several people who already have waterfowl and are willing to give them good homes.

“Every year during the past four years, we’ve had half-a-dozen abandoned Muscovys, and they’ve all been killed.”

Mrs Tennant said other breeds of duck are also being dumped, and although their lives were not at risk, they were not suited to living in the wild.

She added: “It’s quite cruel when they’ve been fed corn and now they’re only getting bread.

“If you’ve lived in someone’s hen pen all your life then find yourself amongst all these ducks and big geese, it’s not fair.”

Mrs Tennant is a member of the recently-formed Friends of Keighley (Redcar) Tarn, which is working to protect wildlife at the site.

She has lived near the tarn for most of her life, and still walks there every day to feed the ducks.

She said: “I’ve gone there for years with my children, and I now take my grandchildren. I’ve lived in Black Hill for well over 40 years.”

District councillor, Jan Smithies, one of the founders of the Friends group, said the operation to rehouse the Muscovy ducks is an excellent idea.

She added: “I always assumed all the ducks and geese at the tarn were wild, but it seems quite a lot have been domesticated and can’t survive in the wild because of things like traffic.”

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