Washington Police say please don't feed the birds - WNCT

Washington Police say please don't feed the birds

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WASHINGTON, N.C. -

Many people remember spending evenings in the park feeding the birds. However, one city in eastern North Carolina is reminding people, feeding the ducks and the geese is a violation of a city ordinance.

The Washington Police Department says they have gotten complaints about the growing number of geese in and around city parks. Those complaints sparked them to remind people to follow the signs, and don't feed the birds.

For visitors like Paige Dickson she says she didn't know about the rule.

"When you feed the ducks and geese you think of it as a good thing, that you're doing a fun thing. So, to be against a city ordinance would be surprising," said Dickson.

Lieutenant William Chrismon says its sentiments like Dickson that have sparked them to make an extra effort to tell people about the ordinance.

"Most people don't know that the ordinance exists. We are trying to educate the public of the fact that the ordinance does exist and we're asking for the public's help in not feeding the animals," said Chrismon.

Chrismon says there are signs posted at all the major parks telling people not to feed the birds. One near Festival Park has it listed on the five park rules sign. The sign even says feeding the park birds and animals could lead to a $50 fine. Chrismon says that's only if someone continually refuses to obey the rule.

"We are not going out and writing tickets for feeding birds or animals. Any city ordinance has the potential for a civil penalty or charge; and, we're not trying to charge anyone, we just want people to help us educate each other about the fact that's its causing the potential for an accident or hazard," said Chrismon.

Chrismon says when people feed the birds it could lead to birds trying to cross the street to get food, which has caused traffic issues on some city roads.

Chrismon says so far police have not had to issue anyone an ordinance violation slip for feeding the birds.

9 On Your Side looked into if other any other cities in the eastern North Carolina had similar ordinances.

We were able to find one in Surf City that says people can't feed ducks that are on their property.

To find out if you city has a no ordinance on bird feeding or any other issue click here.

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