The little lost ducklings whose mother was killed in June by a motorist on a busy Brainerd street all appear to be healthy and ready to migrate when the fall temperatures turn colder.
Bob and Char Wrobel, volunteers with the Wild and Free Animal Rehabilitation Program, reported the five ducklings were released at their Crooked Lake home a few weeks ago and come to the shoreline each day where they feast on whole corn that’s been thrown onto the water. They spend their afternoons lounging on the Wrobels’ dock, usually with a few feathered friends.
The summer didn’t start out so well for the young ducks. In early June, their mother was killed by a motorist on Washington Street. Brainerd Police Officers Mike Kulzer and John Palcher rescued the ducks and turned them over to DNR Conservation Officer Jim Guida, who in turn transported them to Garrison Animal Hospital, where the Wild and Free program is run.
After four to six weeks at the hospital the ducklings were deemed to be self-sufficient enough to be released on Crooked Lake. The Wrobels said the five siblings stayed close together and were easy to keep track of at first because they were smaller than the other ducks they sometimes joined. Now, as the ducklings have grown, Bob Wrobel said it’s more difficult to tell them apart.
The Wrobels reported in an email to the Dispatch that the five orphan ducks tried to join a mother duck who had 10 babies in her own brood, but were chased away by the busy mother duck.
Wild and Free Animal Rehabilitation is an organization of all volunteers which takes injured and orphaned wild animals and rehabilitates them when possible and releases them back into the wild. The organization may be contacted through the Garrison Animal Hospital.
Char Wrobel said it’s possible the five ducks might return to Crooked Lake next spring after they migrate south, but she and husband expressed satisfaction the ducks will return to being wild.
“That’s why you release them,” Bob Wrobel said.
MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5860.