Ducklings who’ve inhabited a pool near Capital Hill are getting a leg up from a group of officials in charge of historic buildings in the area. But not everyone is on-board.
Architect of the Capitol, a federal agency responsible for maintaining and preserving the Capitol complex, installed a ramp that leads onto the Capitol Reflecting Pool, where four families of mallards have made themselves at home.
— U.S. Capitol (@uscapitol) May 15, 2017
In a news release, the AOC say the ramp was installed to help the birds navigate the pool with ease.
“The broad, gently sloped limestone coping of the pool, however, has an unintended side-effect for our feathered-friends,” the statement reads. “Some ducklings have trouble climbing out of the pool or returning to it once out of the water.”
On their Twitter account, the AOC posted a video of the ramp in use.
In the clip, only three of the six ducklings swiftly make it on the incline, which doubles as a sign informing visitors not to feed the ducks.
Like many things concerning Capitol Hill these days, the ramp got some people quacking. Congressman Mark Walker, a Republican from North Carolina, took to Twitter to voice his concerns over government spending.
If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be government waste. pic.twitter.com/JKgabZ47O5
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) May 15, 2017
Some felt Walker was overreacting.
This doesn't look anything like a duck. It's a ramp. https://t.co/XRNu71tdrm
— Matthew Lazin-Ryder (@Lazin_Ryder) May 16, 2017
"That's $8 we could have given back to a billionaire!" https://t.co/sqR86tEiIG
— Phil Hornshaw (@philhornshaw) May 16, 2017
— Ben Harris-Roxas ???? (@ben_hr) May 17, 2017
The ramps were installed in collaboration with City Wildlife, a Washington-based non-profit animal rescue group. In an email to the New York Times, the group’s president Anne Lewis wrote the ramp is a life-saving tool for the birds.
“Ducklings get into the water—often helped there by visitors—and then can’t get out because of the high curb at the water’s edge. They will drown from exhaustion or die of starvation unless they have a way to get out of the water.”