Boatie Psychos: Bird-Bashing at Bumps
Cambridge crews have been accused of murdering ducklings at the ongoing May Bumps.
Careless May Bumps participants are colliding into young ducks and injuring them with rowing blades, Cambridge wildlife enthusiasts claim.
Charity worker Lee Culley, 44, said he witnessed at least two ducklings being killed during one of the women’s races on Wednesday.
“It was absolutely disgusting,” he said. “They just kept on going and their blades went through the ducks and killed two.
“Another one died the next day and the mother has none but keeps coming back to my boat looking for the brood.”
Earlier on this afternoon, CamFM commentators speculated that the guilty party may have been one of the Girton boats, but these suggestions have since been rescinded.
During last year’s May Bumps, animal rights campaigners dressed as swans were arrested for interfering with the races. They campaigned against the relocation of a territorially hostile swan “Mr Asbo” from the Cam, and the clipping of his wings.
Describing how wildlife on the Cam was threatened by boatie activities, Culley added: “There are just two swans left, and one is the son of Mr Asbo. I am afraid that wildlife just won’t survive.”
A spokesman for the Cambridge University Combined Boat Clubs said:
“Every effort is being made to mitigate disturbance to wildlife and to keep ducks and other waterfowl out of the way of racing boats.
“The start of the men’s second division on Wednesday night was delayed by 15 minutes while a family of ducks were guided out of harm’s way.”
To tackle the issue, the rowing community, the Cam Conservators residential boaters and Cambridge Animal Rights have created the Cam River Users Group (CRUG) to discuss the issues surrounding river use and wildlife.
The group have set up an email address ([email protected]) for members of the public to report river wildlife incidents.