Cleethorpes Wildlife Rescue are warning people without wildlife experience to ask for help before acting, after their worst ever call out and what was described as a massacre of ducklings in Grimsby.
The volunteer rescue team were called at 11.30am on Thursday, April 15 after a woman was witnessed releasing very young ducklings without a mother duck into a section of the River Freshney known as ‘Green Bridge’.
Another wild mother duck was already on a killing spree, with six ducklings dead before the volunteers could even get in the water. A total of nine ducks were tragically killed.
One duckling was saved by two local boys called Leyton and Mitchell, who managed to grab it when it was near the edge. That duckling is currently in a critical condition in an intensive care incubator.
Cleethorpes Wildlife Rescue want this to incident to be a warning to others and said: “There were duckling bodies everywhere and we have never been witness to such an act of unintentional cruelty.
“Please, we beg, if you haven’t had experience with wildlife and you’re unsure contact a local rescue. Most vets will also have a contact for your local wildlife rescue team.
“This has been a horrific sight not only for our team, but the young children going past. We’re heart broken, sad, angry and devastated.”
It was a very busy day for the team who took 25 calls by 12pm on Thursday, with some referred onto one of their partners – Cherry Cottage Wildlife Rescue.
They were in the water for around two hours and on scene for even longer. It broke the hearts and morale of the whole team, who are all supporting each other and took a few hours off before returning to work again.
The woman who released them has since contacted the rescue saying she found them walking on the street. She tried to get the mother duck, but couldn’t, so she released them into the water and later told the team she feels heartbroken.
Aaron Goss, who is one of the volunteers at Cleethorpes Wildlife Rescue, told The Lincolnite this kind of incident can be common, especially if there isn’t a mother duck to look after her young, but that this could have been avoidable.
He said: “If you find ducklings or young animals without mothers and have never had any wildlife experience please contact a rescue, who will give free advice, and this can help avoid it from happening again.
“People shouldn’t interfere with things they don’t know. They may have good intentions, but they don’t understand that wildlife is a different kind of life to humans and that asking for help could save lives.”
As a volunteer rescue service, it does not get any funding aside from donations via fundraising to save wildlife and keep up with the regular food and vet bills.
The team are currently trying to fundraise for up to four intensive care incubators – make a donation here.