Friday, August 1, 2014
Dining on smoked mackerel, swimming in the pool and generally ruling the roost... life is easy for Jack the duck now he has been reunited with his owner.
Leanne George’s hand-reared duck ruffled feathers earlier this month when he went missing, but there was a happy reunion after the 29-year-old animal lover spotted her peculiar pet in the pages of the Mercury.
Jack was taken in by John and Tonia Gardiner of Foxy Lodge wildlife rescue after he was found wandering Filby. They knew the tame duck was a much-loved pet and hoped an article would help track down his family - and three days later, it did.
“When we saw it in the paper we instantly recognised Jack,” said Leanne. “We called Foxy Lodge straight away and they put us in touch with the people who found him and were able to bring him home. I want to thank those involved in his safe return after thinking he had gone forever.”
Eight-month-old Jack enjoys the life of Riley with the George family in Fleggburgh - he has the run of the garden, is fed on Cheerios, Weetabix and mackerel and shares a pen with two tortoises, but it was touch and go when he first hatched.
He was left behind as an egg when the rest of his feathered family, including 12 fluffy siblings, hatched and moved on from the garden.
After the ducks left, Leanne was looking at their nest when she noticed their abandoned egg.
“I broke the egg open and there he was inside,” she said. “I didn’t think he was going to make it. I gave him a few breaths and spent all night rubbing his chest trying to keep him alive.
“We thought he was going to die but we put him in a heated cage that my mum uses for her tortoises and put some hot water bottles around him.
“He made it and he’s grown up to be a lovely duck. He’s a bit naughty, and he’s full of character.
“He goes in my dad’s pond and has taken over the children’s paddling pool. He does his own thing really and at night he takes himself into the tortoise enclosure in the garden which is where he sleeps.”
Leanne, who works with people with special needs and channelling behaviour, said Jack is a perfect house mate for Terrance and Tallulah the tortoises.
The family also has two Staffordshire bull terriers, Missy and Trevor, but they are not Jack’s biggest fans.
“Jack’s interested in them, but they’re not so keen so we tend to keep them apart,” said Leanne, adding that her mum, Theresa, deserved a mention for looking after Jack when she is at work.
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