Fury over Cambridge students killing ducks in rowing race

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Fury over Cambridge students killing ducks in rowing race

Cambridge University rowers have been accused of killing ducklings during an annual race known as the May Bumps.

The Independent reports that the May Bumps are a series of rowing races held each year on the River Cam. They take their name from their unusual format: if a boat bumps into the rear of a competitor, the boat in front must pull over and let them pass.

Last year, animal rights protestors dressed as swans brought the race to a halt. And this year, a houseboat resident, Lee Culley, claims that a female team's rowing blades struck a brood of ducks, killing at least two of them.

He said: "It was absolutely disgusting. They just sped through them even though I shouted to them, warning them about the ducks.

"They just kept on going and their blades went through the ducks and killed two. The ducks were only three weeks old. Another one died the next day and the mother has none but keeps coming back to my boat looking for the brood."

He told the Daily Mail: "I am worried about the other wildlife. We just don't have that much of it left on the river because there are just too many rowers."

Cambridge University Combined Boat clubs, which runs the event, insists that they work hard to protect wildlife on the river.

A spokesperson said: "Every effort is being made to mitigate disturbance to wildlife and to keep ducks and other waterfoul out of the way of racing boats. We are very sorry to hear of the incident Mr Culley apparently witnessed and will be briefing stewards to be extra vigilant."

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