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Girl, 6, saves ducks’ lives by telling Romford residents not to feed them bread

Deanna Lewis, 6, with the ducks article. Picture: Roberta Lorusso Deanna Lewis, 6, with the ducks article. Picture: Roberta Lorusso

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
10:02 AM

A 6-year-old girl was so concerned about the lives of ducks after her mum read her a Recorder article about the council’s advice that bread can kill that she took matters into her own hands.

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Ducks turn their backs as Cllr Melvin Wallace offers a handful of lettuce with (L-R) Elise Franklin, 3, Jo Allan, and Ollie Hollis, 3.Ducks turn their backs as Cllr Melvin Wallace offers a handful of lettuce with (L-R) Elise Franklin, 3, Jo Allan, and Ollie Hollis, 3.

“I don’t want the ducks to die because they are really cute,” said Deanna Lewis as she photocopied the article and headed for Romford’s Raphael Park with her mother last week.

“I thought maybe I could stop the people feeding them bread and get them feeding them healthy stuff.”

Deanna and her mother Roberta Lorusso, 37, both of London Road, Brentwood, paced around the park approaching people who were carrying loaves of bread presenting them with the article.

“I said ‘excuse me, you’ve got to read this article about not feeding ducks bread’ and they replied ‘thanks very much’,” Deanna said.

Tom and Janet haven taken in a duck that was ill with Botulism in Harrow Lodge Park. Tom and Janet haven taken in a duck that was ill with Botulism in Harrow Lodge Park.

Havering Council began advising residents to feed the lake-dwellers healthier alternatives last month after there had been fatal consequences in Raphaels Park and Hornchurch’s Harrow Lodge Park.

Uneaten scraps of mouldy bread can cause the bacteria to flourish killing the birds, according to the council.

This has lead to wildfowl suffering fatal consequences due to botulism - a disease that affects the nervous system.

Birds need healthier and more varied diets, the council say, and greens such as lettuce and spinach as well as uncooked rice and porridge oats will make for healthier ducks.

Ms Lorusso, who homeschools Deanna, said she read the article to her daughter and the six year old immediately formed a plan.

“I thought it was a very good idea so I had to go along with it,” Ms Lorusso said.

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