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Toronto ducks re-released into wild after falling ill with avian botulism

Tuesday, October 19th 2021, 12:27 pm - The ducks were admitted into care after officials received several reports from the public.

Back in the summer, officials at the Toronto Wildlife Centre (TWC) received numerous reports of sick ducks along the city's waterfront.

Dozens of birds were admitted to TWC suffering from lethargy, an inability to support their heads, and difficulties walking and flying.

Tests confirmed the ducks were suffering from avian botulism, a serious and easily transmissible disease that can cause paralysis and death, TWC said in a September 1 Facebook post.

Unfortunately, not all of the ducks that fell ill survived.

The ones that did were re-released back into the wild this week, documented in a heartwarming video shared by TWC.

"We all did everything we could to save as many lives as possible," TWC said in a Facebook post.

"Our Rescue Team and volunteers spent countless hours on the water searching for survivors, and medical teams worked non-stop tubing patients with a special solution multiple times a day to flush their bodies of the toxic bacteria. Several patients remain in care and continue to be treated."

Thanks to the hard work of the TWC team, 19 mallards and two Canada geese have been cured to date.

"Releases like these are the reason why so many of us do what we do," TWC said.

"Thank you to the volunteers who helped to get these patients to our hospital, and to all the kind members of the public who reported sightings of the sick birds so the survivors could be saved."

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