Nine ducklings are recovering after their mom abandoned them while trying to cross the Malahat on Vancouver Island last week.
According to the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) the duckling’s mom got scared and flew away. Luckily, the ducklings were spotted by a passerby who moved them to safety.
The person who found the ducklings called Wild ARC in Metchosin and waited for over an hour on the side of the road, a bit of a ways away from the ducklings — who had been placed in a box and were chirping loudly — but the mother did not return for her babies.
According to Tara Thoms, assistant manager of Wild ARC, the ducklings are doing well and are full of life since being brought in.
Thoms says the ducklings were found near Goldstream Park, but that the mom built her nest on the wrong side of the road, across from the water source which is why they were crossing the highway.
The ducklings will be released in about a month, but Thoms doesn’t think they will be reunited with their mom, although that does happen for other animals.
“With a situation like this, because she wasn’t very familiar and didn’t get that time to bond [with her babies] it’s not usual that she would remember them,” she says.
Thoms says while ducks are born knowing how to eat and walk for themselves they do rely heavily on their mother. As they are very young, they require frequent cleanings, monitoring and feedings.
Wild ARC staff will ensure the ducklings grow at a healthy rate and develop the natural skills necessary to succeed when they’re released back into the wild, while maintaining a distance so as not to induce more stress than necessary on the animals.
“The cost to look after these nine ducklings is great, as it will take a lot of food and staff time to make their successful rehabilitation possible,” reads a post on the organization’s website.
Those who donate towards the ducklings will be provided with personal updates on their health. If more than the goal of $3,000 is raised, the funds will be directed to other animals in Wild ARC’s care.
To donate visit bit.ly/2W2kTij.