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Injured mallard escapes from PROWLS, avoids needed help


ESCAPE ARTIST: This male mallard, a resident on Cranberry Lake, was first rescued two years ago and given the name Donald. With a broken femur, he was caught on land.

Once at Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society, he was placed in a screened shed with a pool of water, shavings to rest on and lots of food. However, when the door was opened for a safety check, he was out like a shot.

Within two hours, he was spotted swimming around again on Cranberry Lake. Still able to fly, he managed to avoid further rescue even though enduring obvious pain and limitation.

This spring, he was recognized once again looking thin, weak and stressed. Once captured, he was quickly sent to MARS Wildlife Rescue Hospital in Merville, where they have proper facilities for ducks.

He remained in care at MARS and was beginning to look well fed and stronger. Too well it seemed.

When PROWLS president Merrilee Prior phoned for an update, MARS sheepishly confessed he had escaped the day before. Having flown up to the roof of the shelter in the swan enclosure, he had managed to squeeze out. He was last seen flying east.

That night we had a big windstorm, and Donald rode it home. He was back in “his” yard, waiting for breakfast the next morning.

Ducks are strong fliers: migrating flocks of mallards have been estimated to travel at 55 miles per hour.

Once again swimming about on Cranberry Lake, and on land still favouring his broken femur which is now deformed, he appears content.