Eh-up, up and away m’duck! Ducklings rescued near Harborough are getting ready for release

Kirsty Bates, Jack Curran, Tait Sargent and Amy Ducker of Leicestershire Wildlife Centre with the eight ducklings rescued from Fleckney duck pond after the mother was run over.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-170808-130612005
Kirsty Bates, Jack Curran, Tait Sargent and Amy Ducker of Leicestershire Wildlife Centre with the eight ducklings rescued from Fleckney duck pond after the mother was run over. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-170808-130612005

These eight ducklings lost their mum when they were just 24 hours old.

Born in a resident’s garden in Saddington Road, Fleckney in June, they were orphaned when their mother was hit by a car as she led her little clan to Fleckney duck pond for the first time.

Fortunately locals spotted what had happened, and contacted Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital in Kibworth.

All eight have thrived there – and now they’re almost ready to be released back into the wild at a local reservoir.

It’s a happy ending to what could have been a tragic wildlife story.

“Ducks like these mallards often nest away from water” explained Harriet Childs, of Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital.

“Mum will take them back to the water once they have hatched. That’s what happened here, but unfortunately mum never made it – her wing was too badly damaged in the car accident,”

The eight ducklings were given warmth at the wildlife hospital and a fine grain called chick crumb.

“They’ve all done well, and now we’ll be looking to release them back into the wild in a couple of weeks” said Harriet.

“First we’ve got to move them into a bigger pen with a deeper pond, and get them used to that.”

“We’ve had lots of people asking us how the Fleckney ducklings are” said charity founder and chief volunteer Angie Downham. “And now they’re not far off going back into the wild.”

Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital is a charity dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned wild animals.

It’s been running for 20 years – the last seven on a three-acre site off Fleckney Road, Kibworth.

The charity costs more than £40,000 a year to run.

If you want to know how you can help Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital? Go to www.leicesterwildlifehospital.org/helping-us/

And the last word goes to the Harborough Mail’s long-serving photographer Andy Carpenter.

“I’m just glad this was my last job of the day” he said. “Catching those eight ducklings with the volunteers for this photograph was tricky. I was covered in duck poo.”