Animal welfare charities have urged Britain’s park-goers to carry on giving ducks bread amid claims birds are starving to death because people have stopped feeding them.
Posters have appeared in parks across the UK which tell people: "It's OK to feed us bread!"
The posters show pictures of ducks and also say: "Please feed us again, especially in the winter!"
"Everyone has stopped feeding us because they wrongly think bread will make us poorly and now some of us are dying of starvation without your bread.
It continues: "Yes, it's not the healthiest for us but nothing in our bellies will kill us!"
A spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds told Yahoo News that although bread doesn’t necessarily contain the nutrients birds need to survive, people should still feed them in “small portions”.
“For many of us feeding the ducks or swans is our first memory of interacting with nature in the wild,” the RSPB spokesperson said.
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“This experience can be an important step towards understanding our natural world and appreciating that we all play a role in caring for it.
“Just like us, swans need a varied diet to stay healthy. Although swans can digest all types of bread, too much can leave them feeling full without giving them all of the important vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need.
“So, although bread isn’t harmful our advice is to only feed small amounts to birds. We encourage people to use things like sweetcorn, porridge oats and defrosted frozen peas as well as bird seed.”
In January this year, animal welfare charity Swan Support posted a photo of an emaciated bird which later starved to death.
The charity blamed a campaign called “ban the bread” for the swan’s poor health and urged people to resume feeding the animals.
“Sadly another swan that may have suffered from the "ban the bread" campaign,” the post read.
“He was massively underweight, he weighed just 4kg. When our rescuers arrived they were met by a few members of the public who said they were told to stop feeding bread.
“He starved to death. He died in transit. The lake he was on doesn't have much natural food, they rely on being fed by humans. Please if you've always fed bread please do not stop, it is better than nothing.”