Internet-famous Lake Merritt duck couple gets rescue shelter home to treat their injuries

Photo: bunny_girl_1/Reddit
By Joe Kukura - Published on January 05, 2021.

One uplifting, hyperlocal East Bay subplot of our lengthy shelter-in-place period has been two abandoned ducks that were plopped at Lake Merritt at some point early in 2020. Twitter and Reddit have both become hotspots for these waterfowls’ duck-pic fandom, with the white-feathered female’s bouffant hairdo the pair’s “hardcore goth/normie couple energy."

But the pair have been suffering silently, despite valiantly striking duckface poses for delighted amateur naturalists. The female has a badly injured broken beak, and a glandular condition called wet feather that prevents the production of waterproofing oils that would allow her to swim properly. Both of them suffer from bumblefoot, a bacterial foot infection that is fatal if not treated. The two were unlikely to survive in the wild for much longer.

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A post shared by Rancho Compasión Sanctuary (@ranchocompasion)


They won’t have to. As seen above, both ducks have been rescued by Rancho Compasión a Nicasio-based sanctuary for neglected and abused farm animals. The pair were taken in Sunday night and are safely ensconced in a food-rich and predator-free situation.

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A post shared by Rancho Compasión Sanctuary (@ranchocompasion)


“These pet ducks who were dumped at Oakland’s #lakemerritt had their nest flooded, had to relocate, and were not welcomed by the other resident ducks,” Rancho Compasión posted on Instagram Sunday night. The post adds that the birds “don’t appear mangy or underweight luckily, but they need treatment to ensure a life of quality comfort and wellbeing.”

If you have become a fan of or bonded with these bonded ducks, you can donate to Rancho Compasión to support this and their other animal rescue efforts. Per a Monday Instagram post, the birds are headed to Oakley’s Medical Center for Birds on Tuesday for veterinary treatment.

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