Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ducks swim amok

Wayward items still being sought

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Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press

Saturday afternoon, 15,000 yellow rubber ducks were dumped into the Assiniboine River by a crane, signalling the start of the Great Manitoba Duck Race to raise money for the zoo.

The Assiniboine Park Conservancy will review plans for next year's Great Manitoba Duck Race after the bright yellow participants ran amok, raising safety concerns.

"We'll definitely need to evaluate things for next year -- if we do it again, or if we do it differently," said Laura Curtis with the conservancy.

More than 13,000 rubber ducks were released into the Assiniboine River on Saturday as part of the annual fundraising event.

"Unfortunately, the oil booms used to capture the ducks at the end of the race did not hold," the conservancy said in a news release Sunday.

A "significant portion" of the small fake ducks passed through the barrier. There were concerns members of the public -- especially children -- might put themselves at risk if they spotted the wayward waterfowl at the river's edge and tried collecting them.

Teams from the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the city were still out gathering ducks from the river Sunday and had rounded up the majority of them, Curtis said. There were reports some of the ducks had made their way into the Red River.

If there are any areas where pockets of rubber ducks have gathered, the public is asked to call 204-793-4316 to have them collected.

Found ducks found can also be returned to the Assiniboine Park Conservancy offices, at 55 Pavilion Cres.

Curtis said the duck race raised an estimated $60,000 toward the redevelopment of the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 9, 2013 B1

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Updated on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 10:27 AM CDT: Adds slideshow.

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