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

Just Posted

Funtastic Alberni kicks back to the 1980s for Canada Day concerts

The nights are reserved for mullets, big hair and denim vests

Langford-Opoly game coming to West Shore Walmart this week

Game features local haunts like Darcy’s Pub, Hatley Castle and Luxton Fair

Tofino pushing for new hospital

Island Health cautions that process can take over seven years

EDITORIAL: Oh, the places they’ll go

Exciting opportunities await the graduating class of 2019

Retiring Vancouver Island University president reflects on more of a decade of leadership

Ralph Nilson has been president of VIU since the change from Malaspina University College in 2007.

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read