Wild animal urgent care for as many as 4,000 ill, injured and orphaned patients each year, wildlife rehabilitation hospital, hotline, education and humane exclusion.
He was a barely noticeable ball of fuzz being tumbled about by heavy traffic on the highway – it was a miracle he made it out of the road without being hit. I caught up with him a few yards off the road; I couldn't believe how fast a baby duck could run. I held him in my hands to try to comfort him, to quiet his constant, frantic peeping.
I had never seen a duck so small; his whole body the size of a golf ball. Where had he come from? His mother and her brood were nowhere to be found. He finally relaxed, and curled up in my lap. I remembered my childhood nature hikes with Mrs. Terwilliger – this was a wild duck. He would only be happy wild and free. That was it; I would take him to WildCare. On the way there “Lucky” the duck fell asleep.
The people at WildCare could not have been kinder or more helpful. They identified him as a hatchling Mallard, and assured me that he would be well cared for, and when ready, released to the wild. They encouraged me to call back later. I went home, satisfied that my lucky duck was with knowledgeable and caring people who would keep him healthy and wild. I called the next day to check on him; he was fine.
Now, when I see a pair of ducks flying between waterways, I think of him and his mate living their natural life.