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Inflation pushes Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary to increase cost of feeding ducks

Published on: 01/05/2023


GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Rising costs and the cost to do business are impacting many people in many ways. At Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay wildlife sanctuary, costs are cutting into a familiar tradition too -- feeding the ducks.


"With the cost of everything going up -- the cost of corn, the cost of bags, the cost of feed and just maintaining this beautiful park everyday -- this was one change that we had to make this year," said Steve Lakatos, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Superintendent.

Even on a rainy Wednesday morning, the sound of corn in a paper bag is enough to get the attention of many ducks and geese at the sanctuary.

"Eighty-five years ago, it was 10 cents a bag. The last several decades, it's been a dollar. And now, here in 2023, we are up to two dollars a bag," said Lakatos.

Lakatos says the price hike is a tough decision.

"The costs, our cost to care for the animals for their veterinary care, all of that stuff is going up gradually as well. So, this was a way to bring a little revenue to the park, make sure that we still provide all that quality care for all the animals, and still stay open every day for free for the public," he said.

Corn is sold inside the Observation Building. The Senior Animal Keeper says the 168 bags in two milk crates would generate $336 for the park.

"When we're at our busy time, we can go through quite a bit of corn during the day. And we have our visitor specialists are here, and they're always catching us back up on bagging the corn," said Amy Harris, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Senior Animal Keeper.

Families were getting some fresh air and feeding the ducks.

"The ducks don't seem to bother. They'll just come at you. Just toss the corn and they surround you," said Heather Lensmire, New Franken.

Lensmire says two dollars a bag is fine with her.

"It doesn't really deter me. I mean, if the money goes to a good cause, the sanctuary, I'm willing to pay whatever to bring a little corn and feed the ducks," she said.

"We'll have that available every day, and people can still take part in that 85-year tradition of feeding the ducks and geese out here," said Lakatos.

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is a 535-acre urban nature preserve owned by the City of Green Bay.

Author :Eric Peterson, FOX 11 News

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