Cuenca park managers say they will begin strict enforcement of the city’s dog city leash law following a Tuesday morning massacre of ducks in Parque Paraiso. Thirty-one ducks were killed and 14 were injured in the attack that a park security guard believes was carried out by a single dog.
The guard, who did not witness the attack and was in a different part of the park when it occurred, says he saw a large dog off its leash, running with his owner, shortly before the ducks were killed. “They were headed in the direction of the ducks,” he said.
Andrea Arteaga, director of the city sanitation department, EMAC, which manages city parks, said she is waiting for a veterinarian’s examination of the dead ducks to make sure of the cause of death. “Although we believe a dog or dogs did this, we have to rule out that it was done by a fox or another animal,” she said. Once the exam results are in, she says she will turn the case of the prosecutor’s office.
The reason for the high death toll, Arteaga says, was because the Parque Paraiso lagoon had been drained for cleaning. “The ducks could not escape to the water, which is what makes this so tragic.”
Until the attack, dogs have often been allowed to run free in city parks if they were well-behaved and with their owners, Arteaga says. “Now, we will have to enforce the law strictly and fine owners who do have their dogs leashed.”
Fifty-five ducks in the park survived the attack and have been relocated to another location until the lagoon is refilled with water.