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Editorial: In Nashua, a flap over dead ducks

If veteran Nashua Democratic Rep. David Campbell deliberately mowed down the ducks in front of Nashua’s Crowne Plaza Hotel with his BMW last month, he’s committed a murder most fowl. If he truly expected the ducks to move, he’s guilty of negligent duckicide and a stunning lack of understanding, for one who’s spent so much time in the State House, of animal behavior.

Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings, they of Make Way for Ducklings, needed the aid of kindly Boston police officers to safely make their way back and forth from their home on an island in a lagoon in Boston’s Public Garden. And every day, an official duck master marches the famed ducks of Memphis’s Peabody Hotel from their home on the hotel’s roof to an elevator and then down to the marble fountain in the lobby for their daily swim. They could not make the trip safely on their own.

Rep. Campbell, crows and blue jays yield. Geese, ducks, moose and teenagers of a certain age and disposition don’t. Getting through life without needlessly killing them requires knowing that.

We must ask, however, why oh why were people feeding ducks, or any other wildlife, in a road or driveway? It sets the critters up for slaughter. So does tossing uneaten food out car windows. Animals attracted to the food, the savvy crow and a few other creatures excepted, often end up shaped like Frisbees.

People who feed birds responsibly and put out and take in their feeders when Fish and Game officials recommend doing so, are aiding the birds and protecting the bears. As wildlife officials warn every year, bears attracted to feeders, unsecured garbage cans and other sources of food lose their fear of people. They must be relocated or killed. People who feed ducks, geese, pigeons, squirrels, raccoons and other wildlife, especially if they do so in parks or other public places, are a menace to mankind and wildlife alike. Anyone who’s had to comfort, and clean up, a crying kid who slid into second base after a flock of a geese grazed on the field will understand. So will golfers who have to dig goose goo out of their spikes.

Given an ample source of food, many species of wildlife proliferate until they become a nuisance. They can also become aggressive. Geese accustomed to handouts will peck and bite if not given one. Their necks and wings are strong enough to break an arm. Squirrels will bite. Pigeons turn cars and sidewalks white, and the deposits they leave behind can spread disease. Ducks fed for the amusement of pond residents and visitors spread an avian parasite that causes swimmers itch in people.

Ducks belong in the wild. Not in a hotel driveway. But Campbell shouldn’t have run them down. We look forward to his opponent’s campaign slogan, assuming Campbell chooses to run for office again. Corrigan went the wrong way. The ball rolled between Bill Buckner’s legs. Vice President Dan Quayle will forever be the guy who, at a sixth-grade spelling bee, added an “e” to the end of “potato.” Campbell will never be able to put the incident completely behind him. He may well become the first politician unseated by a flock of ducks.

Legacy Comments19

This was ....NO... accident. A child could have avoided it

Let's get this clear. This was a driveway.....private at that. There were choices when he exited the garage, you can turn left and bypass the main entrance of the hotel. To cavalierly PLOW thorough these ducks is asinine. To act after the fact that it's no big deal is arrogant. These ducks are known to regular guests at the hotel and it's no big deal to feed them out front since you have other options for exit. What was Mr. Campbell (or who) was Mr. Campbell doing at the hotel? Own up, you had choices and yet you chose to kill these hotel friendly ducks.

Let's send Campbell to Louisiana to join the cast of Duck Dynasty. He can raise their gas tax!

If he was a Republican he would have been forced to resign by now - the Liberal double standard of what is acceptable is again on display

I suppose it depends on whose ox is being gored. Or in this case which party the offender belongs to. I am sure all you duck defenders will be in favor of any animal welfare bill that comes up this year.

TILLIE!!!!!!! THAT'S EXACTLY MY POINT!!! I posted as such in TWO letters to the editor about this very topic. FACT: humans shouldn't feed wild animals. FACT: It's the feeding of wild animals that caused this! FACT: the kind of people that feed wild animals are the kind of people that are members of PETA and are pro "animal-rights". And it's THESE people who actually do more harm than good to animals. PETA and the "talking animal" crowd do not care about animals. Hunters, anglers and trappers do. They do more to benefit wildlife than the talking animal crowd. Yet they are the ones always getting blamed for being "cruel to animals." FACT: Running over a pile of ducks with your car for no reason and then leaving them to rot is cruelty to animals! And guess what party is someone in the "talking animal crowd"(you know, the ones who actually do more harm to animals) more likely to belong to? Answer: the Democratic party - the same party that the duck murderer is in. But WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE FROM THE ANIMAL RIGHTS CROWD ON THIS ONE?!?!?!?!

There is plenty of flap on the animal right websites and blogs, but I seem to remember wealthy lake front owners a few years back killing ducks because they were a nuisance. My point is the people on these pages are hypocrites. It is only because he is a Dem that they are so upset. I find it grotesque how factory farms treat animals, also trophy hunting, especially of endangered animals and animal testing. I could go on, but I don't see any letters to the editor from our favorite posters upset about how any of these other animals are being killed. I do not like trapping, at least these ducks were killed instantly. Sorry, but I find these sudden animal lovers on this site insincere.

So your assumption is that all people living on a lake and seeing ducks as a nuisance are conservatives or Republicans? Are you aware that many of the land owners on Lake Winnepesaukee are wealthy Democrats. As far as factory farms are concerned as you folks, like your abortion quote from the Left, "If you don't like factory farms, don't eat the meat".

No hypocrites here, except folks on the left who instead of discussing what this guy did, turn it into something political. The folks on the lakes were complaining because the water was getting polluted because many felt that feeding geese was a good idea. So every year more and more geese came to be fed. Same with that island on Whinni that was over run with deer because of folks feeding them. If you can avoid hitting an animal you should. But Dan is right, stop feeding wild animals, you make them dependent on you and they do not fend for themselves.

Tillie, please provide evidence to back up your claim that "these ducks were killed instantly." Death is part of life. Nothing lives without being a party to something else dying - whether directly or indirectly. I'm right there with you regarding factory farms and animal testing in the cosmetics industry. But I'm not so sure about testing in the medical industry if it means a cure for cancer or AIDS. And you know where I stand on the "hook and bullet" sports so we don't need to go into that here. But all you have to do is research groups like "Humane Society of the United States" to realize that many of the so-called "animal rights" crowd don't really care - or even really like - animals. The right thing to do is for every person to think long and hard about the impact they have on their environment, to decide for themselves how they can live in a way that causes minimum impact to the environment, and do live that way. That may take the form of becoming a vegan. It may take the form of becoming a hunter or gardener. It most certainly does not take the form of running over a half-dozen ducks and then pulling the "do you know who I am?" excuse.

Your comment that you look forward to his opponent's campaign slogan is mean spirited and dumb - a state rep with so many years of dedicated service doesn't deserve to have his career wrecked by an accident.

Congratulations to the Concord Monitor for basing this editorial (and your own reputation as a newspaper) on an incomplete and inflammatory report originated by NH's own "tabloid" -- the Telegraph. When the so-called "press" have to whip up the news to sell papers and screen views, we are all the losers. Consider the source!

I seldom agree with the Monitor editorials and in this case I do. My guess is that you are either a satisfied constituent, friend or a member of this staff. The facts speak for themselves as inconvenient as they may be. On a separate note, the fact that the Monitor commented on so many gaffes by politicians I would like to add a few. Anthony "Carlos Danger" Weiner and selfies, Obama's navy corpse-man which is way beyond Quayle's adding an "e" to tomatoe and of course Eliot Spitzer as governor or New York. Of course, Obama is the sweetheart of the media so he is forgiven but the other two? Dead ducks.

This was obviously an accident. This could have happened to anyone. Signs that read "Do not feed the ducks" are there for a reason. This has happened before and will happen again in this location because people think wild animals are pets — they are not. Campbell is a good guy and has expressed his remorse.

Three questions......was he speeding? Yes. Did he stop? No. How many ducks were crushed by his BMW? Several. Lots of people are "good guys". I hit a dog once and stopped and put him in my car and looked for the owner, expressed remorse immediately. I did not hit and run and call in later. His act was heartless not to mention arrogant and irresponsible. He should resign his seat.

Thank you editorial staff, for reading my post in a recent letter to the editor about this incident and realizing, "hey he's got a point - let's write an editorial about this!"

Hands down the worst editorial ever published in the Monitor.

"If he truly expected the ducks to move, he’s guilty of negligent duckicide and a stunning lack of understanding, for one who’s spent so much time in the State House, of animal behavior."........I thought we needed less of this stupid inflammatory rhetoric from the media??? I dont know who the bigger idiot is...him or you....

Anyone that runs over an animal standing in the road, expecting it to move out of the way, at that rate of speed..is an idiot. Period.

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