Animal rights advocates urge against giving ducklings, rabbits as Easter gifts

There’s no denying, ducklings are too cute not to love and cuddle, but John Di Leonardo, president of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION), is warning his fellow Long Islanders not to buy animals as Easter props if you can’t properly take care of them.

"Unfortunately lots of people will buy ducklings, bunnies, or chicks and use them as photo props for Easter or use them just as gifts for their grandkids, like Giancarlo did, but they very quickly realize that these ducklings are a lot more than they signed up for," said Di Leonardo.

Giancarlo Mazzanti is a grandfather from Hewlett who wanted to surprise his three grandkids with baby ducklings for Easter.

"I bought them and took them home, but it was a lot before Easter so I kept them in the bathtub in my house for about two and a half weeks, and then I just couldn’t take care of them anymore," said Mazzanti.

He says he was cleaning his tub twice a day and feeding the ducklings nonstop. Giancarlo reached out to several organizations for help and says LION was the only one to get back to him and adopt the two ducks.

"Animals are individuals, they are not Easter props, and they are not trash to be discarded when people don’t have time for them anymore. Ducklings are a 10+ year commitment, so unless you’re ready for that, get your kid a stuffed animal instead," said Di Leonardo.

A few months after Easter last year, LION rescued more than 100 ducks in the Township of Hempstead alone. The organization hopes it won’t have to do a similar rescue this year.

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