Wildlife rehabilitator: Ducklings used for projects are being dumped

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WINDSOR TERRACE -

School is out, but a Windsor Terrace woman says some kids' classwork has become a major problem citywide.

Mary Beth Artz says when school ends, she notices a lot of dumped young ducks in various areas. She recently rescued a few ducks near Prospect Park.

Artz, a wildlife rehabilitator, says it's not part of school curriculum, but many schools take care of the ducks as a project.

"Teachers do it at their own discretion, and what they do is, they will hatch eggs in the classroom and the kids get to see the 'miracle of life' and the duck or chick will hatch," says Artz.

But once the project ends, Artz says many get dumped, which she says is a $1,000 fine and is cruel to the animals.

"They can't fly, they can't look for food, they can't protect themselves from predators," says Artz.

Artz says she understands the value of the lesson for students, but believes there is a better way to go about it. She thinks it is a good idea to take the students to a sanctuary to see the animals that have been rescued.

The ducklings Artz has rescued were taken to a sanctuary upstate, because it is illegal to own a duck as a pet in New York City. She says eight ducks have been rescued since the beginning of summer.

State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has proposed a bill that would prohibit schools from doing those types of projects. Until it gets passed, Artz says she will do what she can to help.

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