A flock of mallards rescued from a contaminated South Surrey pond earlier this month are to start being released back to the wild this week.
But they won’t be returning ‘home’, following a report of continued pollution at the pond in question.
“The pond still has a sheen on it and we are trying to find a pond that is similar to their previous home but far enough away from it so they don’t fly back to it and get soiled again,” Yolanda Brooks, communications manager with the Wildlife Rescue Association, said Monday.
The ducks – 16 in all – were rescued from property in the 18800-block of 8 Avenue starting Oct. 7, after officials were alerted to an oily substance in the water.
WRA volunteers and staff dispatched to the scene over the next few days were able to round up most of the soiled waterfowl, bringing them to the Burnaby facility for stabilization, cleaning and treatment. Five were found to have suffered chemical burns to their skin.
Brooks told Peace Arch News by email that all of the rescued ducks are currently in outdoor enclosures – with donations towards their care at about $3,600 – and the first are expected to be released Wednesday.
The pollution, however, remains under investigation.
Ministry of Environment spokesman David Karn said the pond was cleaned, “however, the ministry has received a further report of continuing pollution at the site and is investigating.”
Further details – including if the pollutant itself was identified – were not disclosed by PAN‘s deadline Tuesday morning.
If it’s determined that an offence occurred under the Environmental Management Act, penalties could include financial penalties or jail time, Karn said.