Abandoned Welwyn Garden City duck seeks new home
PUBLISHED: 12:32 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:32 20 July 2018
An abandoned mallard duckling, hand-reared at a Welwyn Garden City veterinary practice, is now on the hunt for a home of his own.
His foster carer, patient care assistant Kirsty Manvell, is hoping that a local resident will come forward to offer the plucky duckling a forever home.
Named Arnold by the practice team, the duckling was taken to Medivet Welwyn Garden City on June 18 by a member of the public who had found him lost in a park in which no other ducks were living.
At the time he was probably around two weeks old, according to Kirsty, who keeps runner ducks and is familiar with their needs.
Given her experience with ducks, Kirsty offered to hand-rear him.
“One of the first challenges I faced was to find out whether he had yet learned to eat,” she explained.
“At first, he would eat from my finger but gradually he figured out how to eat from a feeder and he certainly has a good appetite!”
She continued: “We also had to help him learn to swim.
“A duckling’s first feathers are not waterproof so he had to swim in a small tank under close supervision initially and we would dry him off afterwards so that he didn’t get cold.”
Following two months’ loving care from Kirsty and her colleagues, Arnold is almost fully grown and his adult plumage is coming through.
Kirsty said this would finally make it possible to define Arnold’s gender.
At this stage, he could still be a she.
Unfortunately, her own ducks have not taken to him so she is now trying to find him a home of his own.
She added: “I’ve really enjoyed caring for Arnold – or Arnoldina!
“It’s been very rewarding and we’ve tried to keep his socialization to a minimum so that he will be able to live a near normal life in the wild.
“Having said that, he is used to people and is particularly keen on men.
“One of his favourite habits is dozing between my father’s feet or taking a nap in his slippers when he stays with us overnight. “Because he’s used to living in a‘safe environment, we hope to find him a home where he can be monitored until he has fully adjusted to life in the wild.
“He’s a lovely boy (or girl!) and I’ll miss him but it’s worth it to know that we’ve given him this chance.”
Anyone interested in offering Arnold a home is asked to call Medivet Welwyn Garden City on 01707 392244.
The practice is based at 129 - 131 Mill Green Road, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 3XB.
Medivet is a network of 250 veterinary practices and 15 fully staffed 24-hour veterinary centres across the UK, of which six are 24-hour veterinary hospitals.