The colours are all wrong because I did not use a flash.  The carry case is a grey colour & the duck was much darker.

The colours are all wrong because I did not use a flash. The carry case is a grey colour & the duck was much darker.

Last night a duck came to our front gate.  It was obviously in trouble, but at the same time quite wary of people coming too close.  Our neighbour managed to corral & catch it.  The activity brought other neighbours out of their houses & one brought a towel. This was quickly wrapped around the duck to keep it from struggling & injuring itself.  It was then that we all got a good look at its neck & saw that it needed to see a Vet pronto.

Local Vets had closed, so we popped the duck on a towel in a cat travelling box & drove it to the University Veterinary Centre at Sydney University.

They quickly ascertained that it was a wild duck & said they would have a look at his injury that night.  They also said they would do what they could to save him & if they could, he would be collected by WIRES who would then rehabilitate the duck before releasing him back to the Cooks River.

I rang the Vet this afternoon to see how he was faring & was told that –

  • He was given a full physical last night, found to be of a healthy size & weight, but had a deep wound around his neck that looked to be caused by fishing line!
  • His neck was fixed up & he was given antibiotics as well as pain relief.
  • He was doing well today.
  • WIRES would be coming later to take care of him until he was healed & ready for release.

This is a story that will end well, but I wonder how many ducks along the Cooks River do not have stories that end well because of fishing line.

The local Ibis have a terrible time with months or years of horrendous suffering, losing toes, feet & sometimes their lives because they get caught up in discarded fishing line while they are walking around or wading, hunting for food.  I know from experience just how difficult they are to catch when you want to release their legs & feet from fishing line.  Many are shackled.

The same thing probably happens to the Spoonbills, Herons & Egrets because they too are waders, but being more shy than Ibis, they would be a largely invisible statistic.   This suffering of waterbirds is easily preventable.  All that needs to be done is not to litter & take line, hooks & other fishing paraphernalia home to dispose of safely.

Anyway, I am very happy that one little duck is going to be okay.  With any luck we will be able to take part in his release.  If so, I’ll post about that joyous event.

WIRES is run by volunteers who work around the clock to rescue wildlife & take care of them. The organisation is also largely dependent on donations.  They also offer training courses for those who are interested in doing this valuable work.  All information can be found on their website here –