June 26, 2022



Houston residents refuse to stop feeding ducks as city tries to ban practice in Hermann Park

2 min read

The city of Houston would really like locals to stop feeding ducks in Hermann Park, but responses on social media indicate stopping the practice will be an uphill battle.

KHOU 11 posted a story Monday highlighting a push by local officials to enforce a feeding ban for the ducks living in the downtown park space. The feature included footage from the park, where residents have been asked to stop tossing breadcrumbs and other food to the duck population, which the city says has “exploded” in recent months and caused the birds to loiter in the space.

“For many years people have been bringing bread to the park and feeding the ducks and families like to come and do that,” city of Houston natural resources manager Kelli Andracek told KHOU 11. “But it really has created some problems and the ducks are prolific breeders and the population has gotten a little bit out of control there.”  

The chief instigators of the overpopulation are Muscovy ducks, according to Andracek. Muscovys are large, warty-faced ducks with white and black plumage commonly found in South America. They make up a significant portion of the 150 waterfowl living in the park that officials are saying residents shouldn’t feed. Efforts to drive home this point have included the city installing “Do Not Feed” signs by ponds in the park, but judging by social media responses to KHOU’s news report, it’s going to take a lot more than posted warnings to dissuade some people from the practice.

“All the fkn crime in the city and you’re worried about some ducks being fed!!! Smh,” commented one user on KHOU’s YouTube video of the duck report.

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“Just let people take them home,” wrote another. “Free ducks!”

“I will feed the ducks any damn time I want,” wrote user Dave Smiling Coyote.

“These people just wanna ruin the fun!” commented Jerin Browder. “[I’m] going to keep feeding the ducks.”

“You have to put them on buses and send them to Delaware,” wrote user @namagemx.

Hermann Park’s duck drama comes months after Houston Nextdoor.com users began circulating a false story about an alleged plan concocted by the city to kill all of the park’s domesticated ducks and geese. Park officials were quick to debunk the rumor and assured citizens that they are hoping to push the invasive ducks from the park peacefully via the feeding ban.

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