Wild duck dispute divides downtown Honolulu condo

Wild duck dispute divides downtown Honolulu condo
Published: Sep. 10, 2014 at 12:27 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 10, 2014 at 5:58 PM HST
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Dr. Craig Twentyman
Dr. Craig Twentyman

A dispute involving wild ducks has divided a downtown condo. A management decision about their future has definitely ruffled some feathers.

The first feral ducks showed up at Kukui Plaza's lush garden and ponds a couple of years ago. The population has grown since then with 15 waterfowl now calling the spot home.

"A lot of the elderly people really like the ducks around and the kids, too," said Kukui Plaza resident Dr. Craig Twentyman.

"They're lovely, funny and humble. If you ask kids, the kids love them," said Kukui Plaza resident Ming Chen.

But Kukui Plaza's general manager, Michael Lakey, said water features such as the kiddie pool often have to be shut down to clean up the feces left behind.

"Human trash and dust and the leaves from the trees and other plants, they all cause problems, too," said Chen.

"I have land on the other side of the island with a stream on it, big piece of land. I'd be willing to take the ducks. I know there are other options, too. We need to take a problem-solving approach," said Twentyman.

The ducks were moved to private property on Oahu's North Shore twice in the past, but flew back after several months, according to Lakey. Kukui Plaza's board of directors decided to hire a pest control company to remove the waterfowl since they're not part of a protected species.

"I think the board has the right to make a decision. My problem is the decision. Why do we have to kill the ducks?" wondered Twentyman.

Lakey said the pest control company is supposed to trap the ducks and take them to the Hawaiian Humane Society.

"That's questionable whether they really intend to do that," said Twentyman.

The Hawaiian Humane Society contacted the operations manager after hearing from concerned residents. At first, the agency told Hawaii News Now that it couldn't pick up the ducks on private property without consent from management. A day later, however, a spokesperson said that since the ducks are wildlife that are not in distress, the Hawaiian Humane Society would not be able to help. Lakey said that Kukui Plaza has asked the agency for help more than once in the past, but was told that the trapping and transportation of the ducks was not a service that the Hawaiian Humane Society provides.

If the animals are dropped off by the pest control company, the Hawaiian Humane Society said the ducks will be adopted out to a couple that has already expressed interest. There is a chance, however, that they could fly back to Kukui Plaza again unless their wings are clipped. The Hawaiian Humane Society does not clip wings, calling the practice unnatural.

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