Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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Wild ducks, dumped ducks/This lake is an oracle

Wild ducks wing their way to Echo Park. But some of the others arrive by car. Here's a scenario -- this one for domestic ducks. On the Echo Park Animal Alliance's list, a lake-goer posted:

I was in Echo Park, by the lake, when my fiance and I saw a woman and her family "freeing" 2 large ducks from a milk crate they had carried from their car. The ducks were obviously not sure what to do with themselves after their human family left. They kept to themselves. They had no interest in getting into the lake and they were dangerously tame with the kids and humans coming around. I began to feel that it wasnt safe for such tame animals to be left on their own in that way. When we saw them wandering toward traffic we tried to chase them back into the park - but they werent afraid of us. We even tried putting them into the lake, they looked like they had never been in the water. When the other ducks atttacked them we took them out and decided we needed to find them help. They look like male mallards, but bigger. They are easy to pick up and are very easy around humans. I have rescued and fostered many dogs and cats - but ducks are new to me. Right now they are together and quiet in our bathroom with some fresh towels, h2o, and a pan of scratch.

This is a classic occurrence, according to Dave Foster, who tends Echo Park for Parks and Rec and knows the animal and fauna life intimately. Many of the ducks at the lake arrive via crate or box. Many of the crate-ducks don't survive. Some do survive but live solo without friends or a mate. A lucky some of them thrive, of course, and have babies -- the wild, unusual mixed-breed ducks who live in Echo Park year-round: the black speckled duck, the caramel-and-white ones, the tan duck with a black beak, too many to name, all of them one-of-a-kind.

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