ANIMAL lovers are being driven quackers by seagulls snatching ducklings from Taunton’s Vivary Park.

In May last year, the County Gazette reported on the concerns of park-goers that a number of ducklings had been taken.

After receiving fresh reports of more missing ducklings, the Gazette visited the park last week... and was unable to spot a single duckling.

Vivary park ranger Shaun Cregan said: “It’s an ongoing problem with seagulls and I don’t know how to overcome it.

“We can’t harm the seagulls as they are protected by the Wildlife Act.

“I’d try to protect the duck eggs but we don’t know where they are nesting.

“The smarter ducks will take the eggs upstream away from everyone and nest in the large bushes but as soon as they hatch they’ll head back downstream where the seagulls are waiting and that’s it.

“The only thing I can think of to prevent this is to ask people to stop feeding the seagulls in the park – they are being fed as much as the ducks.”

A Taunton Deane Council spokesman said: “Sadly not just in parks but everywhere few baby ducks make it to adulthood. Hawks, seagulls and even male ducks will feed on them.

“We have a wonderful wildlife area in Vivary Park and so as well as the many visitors, wild birds will be attracted.

“It is a feeding area for them and so as well as the worms and grubs, sadly they will also seek out ducklings.

“There is not much we can do but two ways we can help is to avoid further attracting the gulls either by directly feeding them, with bread, for example, or by dropping litter – please use the bins provided.”