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

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

“He was just untying the boats and watching them float away,” said Harbour Master Kevin Cortes.

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Ucluelet RCMP warns of scammers impersonating police

“Police will never demand payment of any kind to get rid of an arrest warrant.”

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

Most Read