The University of California, Davis Arboretum provides 100 acres of natural refuge for harried people and a home for many wild animals, and Lake Spafford, which runs through the center of this peaceful preserve, is an ideal environment for a variety of waterfowl, amphibians and fish. However, some species found at the Arboretum were not originally born and raised there, which can leave these individuals’ lives at risk.
This was the case with Claire, a precious Pekin duck who was probably abandoned at the lake by her former “owners.” Pekin ducks are typically raised and slaughtered for meat, but people also keep them as companion animals and sometimes dump them at a nearby body of water when they are no longer wanted. As a result, tragedy often ensues because domesticated waterfowl do not possess the survival skills of wild-raised birds, and may die from starvation, predation or inclement weather when forced to fend for themselves.
Thankfully, there is a Davis animal rescuer who regularly checks on Lake Spafford’s waterfowl to ensure their well-being. When she found Claire in mid-July bruised and battered, with puncture wounds on her neck and chest, she brought the injured duck to UC Davis’ veterinary clinic. The doctors treated Claire’s wounds but couldn’t keep her, so we agreed to take her in at our California Shelter.
As part of Claire’s therapeutic regimen, Farm Sanctuary caregivers administered medications and kept her out of the water until her wounds had a chance to close. Nevertheless, this determined duck often attempted to take a dip in her water bowl (mainly managing to just make a huge wet mess). After she healed, Claire moved into another hospital stall occupied by some other recently-rescued ducks to whom she immediately started talking, then waddled outside to the yard and hopped straight into one of the baby pools for a swim. Soon enough, the others joined Claire in the pool, and everyone has been getting along splendidly ever since.
Claire’s stay at Farm Sanctuary will only be temporary, because we have found her a permanent home with a caring Sacramento area family through our Farm Animal Adoption Network. She will be joined there by some of her duck friends currently living at the California Shelter. We are extremely pleased that after her brush with danger, this sweet duck will have the life and love she so richly deserves!
Many other rescued animals just like Claire are in great need of loving, permanent homes where they can live out the rest of their days in safety and peace. If you are able to open your heart and home to farm animals in need, please learn more about and apply to join our Farm Animal Adoption Network. You can also obtain more information about home adoption by calling our national placement coordinator at 607-583-2225 ext. 223.