In West Des Moines, Iowa’s Resthaven Cemetery has had swans at the property for more than 50 years. Residences coming to visit their deceased loved ones have told the cemetery staff that the swans were one of the reasons they chose to the cemetery. But now the swans are dying off from neglect and local volunteers are coming to their aid.
One of the big problems has been visitors feeding the swans popcorn and bread.“When people call and they’re going to come for a walk and ask what they can feed the swans, they’re told entirely the wrong thing,” said visitor JoanneSmith. “They’re told popcorn or bread. They’re not…that can kill them.” The local volunteers want to have signs posted to ask visitors to only feed the swans waterfowl pellets and kale in hopes that this will help curb the decline of the swans.
While I’m sure the local visitors who want to bring food to feed the swans are doing so because they enjoy them, unfortunately the visitors do not realize the harm they are causing the birds by giving them bread and popcorn. Having the signs posted would help to encourage visitors to feed them food that their systems can digest. Hopefully, this can help keep the swans at Resthaven Cemetery for years to come.
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