(Mirror Daily, United States) – Around 80 ducklings which populated the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool have recently been killed by a mysterious parasite. Since chemical treatment of the water is not enough, the pool is to be drained temporarily and thoroughly cleaned. As to the cause of the infection, it seems that snails are to blame.
The NPS performed necropsies on the ducklings and found the parasite they had been infected with. This parasite thrives on snails, which also lived in the pool. The authorities hadn’t revealed more information on the parasite yet, but we might make a guess.
Unending cycle of parasite infection from snails to ducks
It is probably the same invasive species living in faucet snails, which was responsible with the declining populations of ducks from the Upper Mississippi in both 2008 and 2016. Therefore, snails are not as harmless as we would think.
The parasite transmission process goes like this. Snails get infected, and then they are eaten by ducks. This is how the parasite reaches the intestines of the ducks, where they start gorging blood and then laying eggs. These eggs end up in the ducks’ feces, which are eaten by snails, and the cycle starts all over again.
The reflecting pool needs draining
However, the NPS officials couldn’t identify the cause of this massive spread of parasites, but they made some suppositions. During the 1990s, a three-day streak of unusually high temperatures ended in a high number of deaths among ducks, so this might have been one of the contributing factors.
The only way to get rid of the parasite is to drain the pool. This is the first time when the authorities will gurgle the pool water into the sewers, and the actions are to start on Tuesday. Everything should be cleaned up and ready for a refill until June 16th.
Image Source: Max Pixel
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