Claire Butcher, an 80-year-old woman known as “bird lady,” has been feeding the birds at Goldfish Ponds in Lynn, Massachusetts, for 45-years. But Lynn officials have finally had enough of “bird lady’s” bread giving ways. Butcher was arrested and could face up to 30-days in jail for feeding ducks.
CBS reports that the trouble began a few years ago when city officials complained about Butcher’s bird feeding, saying that it caused a problem with animal feces and was starting to attract rats. The city sought an injunction and eventually Butcher who agreed to stop feeding the ducks.
But Lynn officials say that Butcher repeatedly ignored the deal, which included a No Trespass Order, and despite the fact that she was fined several times, Butcher continued to feed the ducks.
The fines weren’t getting through to Butcher so the city decided to launch a criminal complaint. On Wednesday, a court ruled that Butcher should face criminal charges for violating the No Trespass Order and the city’s ban on feeding wildlife.
Vincent Phelan, an attorney for the city, said:
“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.
Butcher hasn’t been deterred by fines or complains, and she isn’t sure that jail time will stop her from feeding the ducks either. Butcher said:
“The animals in the park do not belong to the city of Lynn, they belong to God… I guess Lynn has nothing else to do besides chase an 80 year old woman down the street for feeding ducks. I don’t know (if I’ll stop feeding the ducks). I’m going to think about it.”
Do you think Claire Butcher should be allowed to keep feeding the ducks?