Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quack or Croak?

The poor duckies who reside at the Reflecting Pool in Washington D.C. are dying of avian botulism. That's a bit of a bummer. When my wife and I went to D.C. in April I snapped a few pictures of the ducks in the pool (see one of them below). It's surprising the number of ducks I've seen in that city. They're at the pool, I've seen them at the Museum of the Native American (who had their own accident with ducklings recently).

Unfortunately, the Reflecting Pool is the perfect place for this to happen. There is no circulation or aeration into the pools, they're dirty beyond belief and the rotting hay bales don't help much either. Essentially, it's stagnant water with plenty of nutrients in it. This of course leads to ideal growth condition for Clostridium botulinum the causative agent of avian botulsim.

What needs to be done? The damn things need to be cleaned for starts. Then, they need to model the Reflecting Pool in D.C. to the one at the Oklahoma City Memorial. It is constantly circulated, which should drastically reduce (if not eliminate entirely) the occurrences of botulism poisoning.

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