Friday, December 9, 2011

80-year-old ducks jail

80-year-old ducks jail

80-year-old ducks jail, 80-year-old faces jail time for feeding ducks. An 80-year-old woman who has been feeding ducks in her town for 45 years faces up to 30 days in jail for refusing to stop feeding the birds. Officials say they are too messy. An 80-year-old woman known as "the bird lady" has been criminally charged after she refused to stop feeding flocks of ducks and geese that officials say are littering a pond and park with waste.

An assistant magistrate at Lynn District Court charged Claire Butcher on Wednesday with violating a "no trespass" order issued against her in 2009.

CBS Boston reports Butcher has been feeding the birds for 45 years at Flax, Sluice and Goldfish Ponds in Lynn, but city officials say they are finally fed up after complaining for several years, asking her to stop bringing shopping carts full of bread to the park.

Butcher said she will not stop feeding the birds because they "don't belong to the city, they belong to God."

Officials say she has created a public health nuisance by feeding the birds, causing a problem with animal feces and attracting rats, repeatedly ignoring a city ordinance forbidding it, and the "no trespass

order against her.

Finally, the city launched a criminal complaint and on Wednesday, a court ruled that Butcher had violated the order and a city ban on feeding wildlife and should face criminal charges.

Butcher says she is disgusted by the city's response to her feeding "a few domesticated ducks."

"I guess Lynn (Mass.) has nothing else to do besides chase an 80-year-old woman down the street for feeding ducks," she said.

The city agrees the situation looks bad, but their major concern is public safety. "The only think we wish to do is have her stop. It is a clear public safety issue at this time and the city has had enough."

The "Bird Lady" faces a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $100 fine.
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