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

Agassiz Return-It Depot slated for modernization

Soon, no more sorting alcohol and non-alcohol containers, Return-It says

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Child falls down Bridal Veil Falls near Chilliwack, crews on scene

An 11-year-old boy fell over the falls about 25 to 30 feet and has suffered a head injury

LETTER: Thank you, OK Tire Agassiz!

Roger Bjaanes of Harrison Hot Springs applauds some great customer service

LETTER: An unforgettable birthday

Grace Storteboom of Agassiz thanks everyone for an amazing birthday

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Most Read