80-year-old jailed for feeding ducks

bird-lady-claire-butcher.jpgMary Poppins will be furious when she finds out. Fair is fowl and fowl is fair. The chicks and ducks and geese better scurry to find new hand-outs.

Sorry. We're done.

CBS News reports that a woman known as "the bird lady" has been jailed for feeding ducks, geese and pigeons at a local pond in Lynn, Mass. We're sure the chicks and ducks and geese are now scurrying to find new people to feed them.

Claire Butcher, 80,  has been feeding the fowl at Flax, Sluice and Goldfish ponds for 45 years. But back in 2009, people started complaining about Claire sometimes up to shopping-carts-full loads of food to the pond. The city maintained it was causing too much animal feces and was attracting rats.

The city sought an injunction against Claire and she eventually agreed not to feed the birds anymore. But she repeatedly has ignored the deal. She says, "The animals in the park do not belong to the city of Lynn - they belong to God."

The city of Lynn filed a criminal complaint against Claire and on Wednesday (Dec. 7), a court ruled that she could face criminal charges for violating a No Trespass Order and a ban on feeding wildlife.

"I guess Lynn has nothing else to do besides chase an 80 year-old woman down the street for feeding ducks," says Claire.

Lynn's lawyer Vincent Phelan counters with, "The only thing we wish to do is have her stop. It is a clear public safety issue at this time and the city has had enough."

If it is found that Butcher did violate the ordinances, she could spend up to 30 days in jail.


Photo/Video credit: CBS News, Walt Disney Pictures
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