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Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:44 pm | Updated: 12:07 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

Letter to the Editor

Nov. 20, 2012

To the editor:

If the mallards that are currently in the river here in Fairbanks are not fed, they will die. They will slowly starve and then freeze to death. No natural food remains for them to eat.

We do not start to feed them until the first of November. All of their stopover spots where they could rest and refuel are frozen, so of course they can no longer migrate. They stay here because the water remains open in the Chena River, in town, because of the warm water influx from the power plant and/or because many have lost their migration instinct from in-breeding with domestic mallards that people raise and release into the river.

Some local biologists say “Let them die.” We feel this would be extremely inhumane and not a proper solution to the problem; we will do our very best to keep these tough little critters alive so they can see another spring in Alaska.

That means feeding between 300 and 400 ducks three to four five-gallon pails of nutritious food per day Nov. 1 through May 1. The food consists of a combination of Delta wheat, cracked corn and special pellets that contain the vitamins and minerals needed to keep them healthy. Straw is placed on the riverbank where they feed, to keep them out of the snow and to keep their feeding areas clean.

Feed the Ducks is a 501(c)3 nonprofit association, so any donations you might like to make are fully tax deductible. One hundred percent of donations go for food. For those of you who helped feed the ducks last year, thank you. They made it through in excellent condition. If you have any questions at all, we would welcome the call.

Marv Hassebroek


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