Carmel removing ducks from reflecting pool
The City of Carmel recently spent nearly half a million dollars to repair damage to the Veteran’s Memorial reflecting pool at City Center. It reopened to the public just before the Fourth of July, but now another problem is plaguing the public area: birds.
Naturally, the reflecting pool is a popular place for ducks and geese to congregate, and many residents love feeding the birds in the water. But the numbers of birds have become overwhelming, leading to large amount of bird waste covering the sidewalks by the end of each day.
“It’s a matter of disease,” Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said. “We’re cleaning these areas daily but it’s quite a lot.”
As a result, crews have been out to remove the birds, with the city spending nearly $24,000 so far to take care of the issue. Brainard said they would not be euthanized or harmed but that relocation is necessary due to the mounting problem.
“We’re spending a lot of money on cleanup, so we’re trying to remove the ducks and geese humanely,” he said. “We are trying to encourage them to locate elsewhere.”
In addition, the baby ducks that go into the pool have a hard time getting out due to the steep drop. This leads some to drown and passersby to see dead ducklings floating in the water. Some residents have taken the extreme measure to jump into the water to save these baby birds. Others have constructed makeshift ramps to help get them out. Brainard said the city has agreed to allow the ramp but doesn’t want to encourage the pond to be a breeding area.
“We’ve left a ramp in the reflecting pool but we want to make sure they don’t nest there,” he said.
One Carmel resident, Ryan Twilla, expressed disappointment with the ducks being removed. He also expressed concerns about the ducklings being trapped in the pool with no way to exit.
“My son and I feed the ducks and geese a few times a week and it brings him so much joy,” he said in an email. “I don’t understand who wants to go to a park where all of the wildlife has been removed.”
Brainard said there are other places to feed the ducks.
“We have plenty of parks and ponds, and this area wasn’t meant to be a nature area,” he said.