80-Year-Old Woman Jailed for Feeding Ducks After Doing It for 45 Years

Eighty-year-old Clair Butcher has been criminally charged by the city of Lynn, Massachusetts for explicitly breaking one particular city ordinance--do not feed the ducks. Something the animal lover has been doing for the past 45 years!

"The animals at the pond do not belong to the city of Lynn, they belong to God" says Butcher of her 8-year battle with the city. But officials claim her behavior is encouraging large flocks of birds to hang around the area and, well...poop everywhere. And that bird feces is in turn attracting other unwanted animals, like rats.

"I guess Lynn (Mass.) has nothing else to do besides chase an 80-year-old woman down the street for feeding ducks," she told CBS Boston. That said, Butcher's feeding habits are not limited to the usual stale loaf of bread. Surveillance footage shows Butcher taking shopping carts stock full of dog food and bread down to the area's Flax, Sluice and Goldfish Ponds.

Clair Butcher, called the "Bird Lady" by locals, faces a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $100 fine.

Related Content on Treehugger.com