The Wildlife Center had two very special patients this fall. The first was a small female Mallard mixed duck brought to a WR&E rehabilitator, Margaret Pickell. After closer examination, it was determined that a dog had attacked the Mallard.

Normally, wildlife is not given a domestic animal name, but this special creature had been named Ducka by the family who brought her in. For you see, Ducka has lived in a local pond for several years and had a unique problem. She had no feet, only little stubs but had obviously adapted quite well.

Margaret transported Ducka to the Wildlife Center where she was treated for scratches and a sprained wing. Following a short recovery period, she healed and is now enjoying life at a ranch pond with other ducks – and no dogs.

The other memorable patient was a Peking duck mix who was admitted with the tip of her beak hanging by a thread. Yet another caring family caught her and brought her to the wildlife center for proper care. One of the Wildlife Center’s valued and long-term volunteers, Diane Cheadle, an area veterinary technician, was able to use her years of experience and expertise to reconstruct the bill.

Diane cleaned the wound, and then used a special dental product , Ortho-Jet (an acrylic resin used to make dental retainers) – to reconstruct the bill.  The dilemma was that the duck wasn’t going to sit still for a fitting and  anesthesia is always tricky in birds.

As feared, the duck’s heart stopped during the operation and Diane had to resuscitate it. Some extra oxygen and chest compressions – and everything was ducky again. After a few weeks of recovery, SUPER duck (with the bill of steel) was returned to her original area all to the welcoming wing flaps of her quacking comrades.

WR&E sends a very special thank you to all the families who broke their schedules to pause long enough to pick up injured or orphaned wildlife, transport them to WR&E and thus enable us to be there for them. THANK YOU!!

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