Dalyellup ducks with botulism brought to Bunbury wildlife carer

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Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times
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Picture: Simon Santi/ The West Australian
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A Bunbury wildlife carer has warned Dalyellup residents to not let their children play near lakes in the area to prevent them getting unwell after sick ducks were handed in to the wildlife carers.

Wildlife Care Bunbury received four ducks with botulism, a paralytic disease caused by ingestion of a potent toxin produced by bacteria.

Wildlife carer Doreen Jones said they had cases of ducks with botulism every year and unfortunately they were not able to save them.

Ms Jones said she wanted to warn people to be careful.

“I just want to let people know it’s back again,” she said.

The botulism birds get is not contagious for humans, but it can make a child or dog sick. Don’t let your dogs swim in there and don’t let the kids play with the water because it could give them a tummy ache.

Doreen Jones

Ms Jones said it was caused by the water not being aerated but it was something that could easily be fixed.

“I’ve been trying for the last three years to try and get the council to put a small fountain in the middle just to keep the water going,” she said.

“What’s happening at the moment is because there’s no rain it’s not stirring the water up and it’s been so hot the water is just sitting there and going stagnant.

“You need to have a fountain there to keep the water going so it doesn’t go thick and green and horrible.”

Capel shire operations manager Jethro Sleer said the council was investigating solutions to improve the water quality and aeration.

“The lake’s water levels are low due to dry seasonal conditions resulting in a build-up of bacteria,” he said.

The bacteria in the water is a soil bacterium that is common in wetland environments nationwide. The council has recently commenced processes to remove algae and sludge build-up within a lined lake.

Jethro Sleer

Capel shire principal health officer Mark Chadwick said the Dalyellup Lakes was a natural water source and was prone to bacterial growth.

“There are permanent warning signs at the lakes stating that the water is not safe for human contact,” he said.

“The community should report sick wildlife to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ Wildcare helpline.”

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