An 80-year-old Massachusetts woman could face up to 30 days in jail for feeding local ducks and geese.
Claire Butcher, who lives outside of Boston, has provided breadcrumbs and other snacks for local ducks and geese for 45 years.
Lynn, Massachusetts officials say the increase of birds by Butcher’s constant feeding has caused a serious environmental problem: dirt and bird excrement.
Lynn officials made a deal with the senior bird lover in 2009 after numerous complaints of bird waste from local residents. Butcher agreed to stop feeding the birds, but has since ignored the deal and trespassed on city property to continue her feeding, according to Lynn officials.
“The animals in the park do not belong to the city of Lynn – they belong to God,” Butcher said in a statement responding to the accusations.
In their complaints to the city, Lynn residents said Butcher brought shopping carts full of food to feed the waterfowl. Oftentimes, feathers and droppings were left for them to walk through.
Butcher ignored several fines issued by the city for breaking its feeding rules and was found guilty on Wednesday for trespassing and disobeying the city’s ban to not feed animals.
“You can see how filthy it is over there and how many animals reside there. It’s because of the constant feeding by Ms. Butcher,” Vincent Phelan, a Lynn Attorney, told WBZ-TV.
"I guess Lynn (Mass.) has nothing else to do besides chase an 80-year-old woman down the street for feeding ducks," Butcher said in a statement.