Posted by: glandorescilly | 18/08/2010

A sad end for the smallest duckling

Sadly, one of our ducklings met a brutal and unecessary end this afternoon 😦

It was about 5pm and I was about to close the Gallery when I heard a duck quacking anxiously out in the garden. I ran outside to see what was upsetting her and found a large (locally owned) dog by our garden sundial with the smallest yellow duckling gripped firmly in its mouth. Lisa was about six feet away and quacking frantically.

I raced over, yelling, shouting and clapping my hands and the dog reluctantly dropped the duckling on the grass, ran out through the gate onto the beach path and headed off in the direction of town. Having chased the dog out, I returned to the duckling which was lying on its back, bloodied and twitching. There was nothing I could do and it died within a minute or two 😦

Lisa circled its still body, quacking repeatedly, as I frantically searched the garden trying to find the other ducklings. One dark brown duckling, peeping anxiously, emerged from beneath the hedge and joined Lisa before the pair of them hurried, as fast as their legs would carry them, out of the garden, onto the road and into the field next door, heading for the duck pond.

I was very upset at not locating the missing ducklings and hurried after them to see if the others were on the pond with Yvonne. To my great relief, the other four ducklings were swimming there with the dark brown one that had escaped the carnage. Lisa and Evonne were making sure they all stayed together and chivvied them firmly back into the group if they strayed.

We’ve had a lot of Gallery visitors with dogs in our garden this summer and they have almost all been well behaved (although Lisa and Yvonne made their feelings clear with much anxious quacking while the dogs were on the premises). We’ve only had one incident when a visitor’s dog, loose and unsupervised, chased the ducks and ducklings in the garden. On that occasion we had vigilant guests staying in one of our apartments who charged downstairs and out into the garden to chase the dog away before it could do any damage. Sadly, this time we weren’t so fortunate.

Could we ask dog owners on Scilly, both visiting and resident, to make sure they know where their dogs are at all times and not to let them run loose? This time it was only a duckling but next time it might be a frightened child faced with a large unsupervised dog and that could give rise to a much more serious situation …

Thank you

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