Ducklings saved

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By Mick Jensen

It’s common to see mother ducks and their newborns waddling along roadsides at this time of the year and two recent duckling rescues have been recounted to the paper.

The first involved Mid Canterbury Animal Welfare Centre manager Rallou Keeley who came across seven baby ducks stranded in her Allenton garden.

The animal and bird lover took them under her “wing” because mother duckling was nowhere to be seen.

Mrs Keeley said she heard chirping and went out with her torch to investigate.

“I found seven ducklings huddled together, but no mum to look after them.

“I went searching the nearby streets and spoke to a couple of neighbours, but there was no sign of her.”

Mrs Keeley took the ducklings in overnight and fed them, but one was found dead the next day.

“I had a similar encounter five years ago, but that time we found the mother quickly.

“Now is the season when the ducklings are out and about and motorists, in particular, need to watch out for them,” she said.

Mrs Keeley took the ducklings to the Ashburton Domain and was hopeful that mother duck would either emerge, or a foster mother would waddle forward to look after the ducklings.

A second duckling rescue told to us involved nine ducklings and a drain.

A passing driver watched as one duckling and mother duck waddled along a road at an Ashburton industrial estate. He was surprised when the baby duck suddenly disappeared from view.

The duckling had fallen through a grate.

On lifting the drain cover, the rescuer found eight more ducklings and promptly lifted them out and reunited them with the anxious, but patiently waiting mother duck.