Three years ago, commuter traffic through the small Wisconsin village of Thiensville, U.S.A., became so?
LV Traffic along road
CU Ducks cross road
LV & CU Sign "Caution, Duck Crossing" (2 shots)
LV & CU Ducks crossing and traffic stopping for them (2 shots)
SV & CU Ducks in and around nest behind petrol station (3 shots)
SV & CU Owner of trading-post feeding ducks (6 shots)
CU Trading-post owner Staples speaks
TRANSCRIPTS: CUNNINGS: "Thousands of commuters pour through Thiensville on Highway 57 each morning. They are not alone. A one-hundred-yard stretch ??? this state highway was officially designated a duck-crossing three years ago ... And the ducks have not forgotten they have the right of way in downtown Thiensville. As one village official puts it, anybody who kills a duck around here will have all the locals on his back. Hundreds of mallards live along the Milwaukee River on one side of the highway. Every Spring the hens cross the road to nest. Nobody can explain why they don't fly over ... or why they choose to build their nests in such grungy surroundings as this backwalk behind a gas station. Perhaps the hens are trying to get away from the boisterous, amorous males on the other side. The males outnumber the hens at least ten to one.
"Of course none of this is news to 84-year-old Fred Staples. He's been feeding Thiensville's ducks behind his trading-post for the past fifteen years. Much of it is sold in ten-cent bags to children in the village. Staples says the feeding keeps the hungry ducks off the highway."
STAPLES: "Well, there's been four or five killed this year, more than usual. There's usually one or two."
CUNNINGS: "Are the drivers for the most part careful?"
STAPLES:'I think they're very careful as a rule, but -- once in a while -- they don't notice them coming, I suppose. I think they're very careful as a rule."
Initials CL/1625 CL/1645
This film also includes a commentary by Jim Cunnings from Thiensville. A transcript appears overleaf.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Three years ago, commuter traffic through the small Wisconsin village of Thiensville, U.S.A., became so great that local authorities decided to establish a special pedestrian crossing over the busy state highway. Their action has drastically reduced casualties among the village population ... of nosting ducks from the nearby Milwaukee River.
Many hundreds of mallard duck? live on the banks of the Milwaukee, on one side of Highway 57. Each Spring, the hens cautiously walk across the road to nest among the le??-spectacular surroundings of Thiensville's houses and shops.
Locals cannot explain why the hens walks rather than fly over the road ... or why they choose to nest away from the river. But, as traffic increased, so did the number of duck deaths. To protect their feathered friends, the villagers decided that a one-hundred yard (91.4 metre) stretch of the highway should become a special crossing where the birds ... not the cars ... had right of way.
Trading-post owner and duck-lover Fred Staples told T.V.N. reporter Jim Cunnings that, on the whole, the crossing had proved successful.