As ducklings can’t yet fly, they are vulnerable to cars when waddling towards water sources. (Peninsula News Review File)

Duck, duck, loose – how to help ducks stay safe on our roads

Why did the duck cross the road? To reach the nearest available water source, says SPCA

Following the sad incident on Highway 1 earlier this month, when a mother duck got run over, leaving 13 orphaned ducklings, people are being reminded of how they can help keep ducks safe.

The ducklings were rescued and are now being raised at the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C., in Burnaby, a charity that cares for injured, orphaned or pollution-affected wildlife.

ALSO READ: Mysterious sea creature washes ashore at Island View Beach in Central Saanich

Ducklings and goslings have been hatching throughout the month of May and are susceptible to encounters with traffic, despite the best efforts of their mothers.

Mother ducks and geese have to lead their brood to water, but as their offspring can’t yet fly, they have to settle for hurried marches in single file to the nearest available water source. Often this means negotiating the scary noise and movement of roads and highways.

One of the key pieces of advice the SPCA gives is for well-meaning rescuers to consider the dangers before running in to save animals. Traffic hazards can be neglected in the heat of the moment and herding the birds can actually cause them to panic and scatter into traffic, exacerbating the situation.

The SPCA says the best way to help duck or geese families trying to cross the street is to seek assistance from the police to stop traffic. Once cars have stopped, they advise rescuers to slowly and calmly herd the babies and parents to safety. They advise only trying to trap and pick up a family if absolutely necessary for their safety. If the birds panic and scatter, the rescue and reunion can become more complicated.

ALSO READ: Lavender Farm brings back goat yoga with extra cuddles

Other advice regards drivers, who are asked to remain vigilant and pull over, and call animal rescue if they see a family of ducks standing tentatively at the side of a road. Drivers are reminded that human safety comes first though, and never to slam on brakes when faced with ducks crossing the road. Motorists who have caused crashes behind them due to braking for ducks have faced criminal charges in the past, such as a Quebec woman in 2014.

The SPCA asks that if you see any animal in distress, including wildlife, to call the toll free BC SPCA Provincial Call Centre at 1-855-6BC SPCA (1-855-622-7722). The call centre is open seven days a week: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCSPCAWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Mountain Market showcases local goods

The Mountain Market is held each Sunday morning in Fernie’s Rotary Park

Summer races kick off at Fernie Alpine Resort

FAR jumps into their summer programming with mountain biking and trail running races

Summer Stories Around Town program encourages outdoor reading in Elk Valley

With storywalks and clothesline stories in Fernie and Sparwood, everyone can get reading

School District 5 identifies funding needs in yearly budget report

The SD5 board presented three main projects that need increased funding in the coming years

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Most Read