03/03/2016 11:51 EST | Updated 03/04/2017 00:12 EST

Mooching mallards encouraged by free food create problems in Cranbrook

CRANBROOK, B.C. — First it was deer, then it was skunks and now ducks are becoming a little too comfortable with life in Cranbrook, B.C.

City of Cranbrook spokesman Chris Zettel says a wildlife education program is being expanded, in hopes of training residents not to feed the mallards, which have flocked to two mall parking lots in the southeastern B.C., city.

The manager of one of the malls, Linda Birch, says some people bring large bags of seed for the birds.

She says seven ducks have been killed in the parking lot over the past week, and mall officials can't tell if the creatures have been hit by cars or are dying from mould in the seed.

Zettel says as many as 200 ducks make their home at the second mall parking lot.

Cranbrook and several other B.C. cities and towns have made headlines for culling destructive and potentially dangerous habituated deer, with 20 euthanized in Cranbrook in December and early January. (CHBZ)

The Canadian Press