Flocks of yellow rubber ducks floated down the Assiniboine River Saturday for the Great Manitoba Duck Race.
The Assiniboine Park Conservancy dropped 13,000 rubber ducks into the river from a crane upstream shortly after 1 p.m. A strong current delayed the race for about 20 minutes, as dozens of people gathered along the footbridge between Assiniboine Park and Portage Avenue.
The event was a fundraiser for the Conservancy’s $200 million redevelopment campaign of Assiniboine Park and Zoo.
A floating barrier meant to stop the ducks once they crossed the finish line didn’t work exactly as planned, sending thousands of the rubber toys floating towards Selkirk. Staff operating in kayaks tried to scoop up as many as they could with nets, but the number of remaining ducks in the river isn’t yet known.
“Unfortunately, the oil booms used to capture the ducks at the end of the race did not hold and a significant portion of the ducks went through the barrier and down current,” said Laura Curtis with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy.
APC is working with the City of Winnipeg to collect the ducks and say Manitoba Conservation has advised them that they don’t pose an environmental threat.
Since the beginning of August, the public had the opportunity to purchase a duck for $10 or three for $25. The fundraiser pulled in around $60,000.