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East Winch Wildlife Centre release record number of ducks in one day



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If 69 ducks went swimming one day, over the hills and far away, then the song would take a long time to sing, but for an RSPCA animal rescue officer, this was the number of ducks she released in to the wild.

Now that’s just quackers, but not only that, the RSPCA officer clocked up 13,000 steps releasing the ducks who had come into charity care as ducklings

During her shift Paige Burnham was asked by her colleagues at East Winch Wildlife Centre if she could help with the release of some ducks but she never imagined it would be quite so many and all in one go.

East Winch Wildlife Centre housed the ducklings until they were ready to fend for themselves (50313542)
East Winch Wildlife Centre housed the ducklings until they were ready to fend for themselves (50313542)

She made so many trips to release the ducks it is thought she covered a distance of some six miles.

The young wild mallard ducks had been in the care of the wildlife centre since the spring and most had been bought in by the inspectorate and public for a number of reasons, such as being orphaned, falling down drains, or were sick and injured.

On average most were around 10 weeks old and had reached the point where they were ready and old enough to fend for themselves.

Paige Burnham at East Winch Wildlife Centre released a record number of ducks into the wild (50313532)
Paige Burnham at East Winch Wildlife Centre released a record number of ducks into the wild (50313532)

The birds were released earlier this month along parts of the River Great Ouse in West Norfolk.

Paige said: “When the centre asked if I could help with the release of some ducks I was happy to help, I just didn’t think there would be quite so many.

“In total I released 69 one batch of 34 and another of 35. As they were two in each carrier it took quite a while to take them to the river location and release them.

“Just walking back and forth from the van to the location I clocked up some 13,000 steps. But it really was worth it as it was just wonderful to see so many birds being released at one time. It was an incredible sight to see.

A record number of ducks were released in to the wild by Paige Burnham (50313522)
A record number of ducks were released in to the wild by Paige Burnham (50313522)

“I would also like to thank my colleagues at East Winch who had spent weeks getting these birds back to full health ready for their release day.”

Ben Kirby, centre manager at East Winch, said: “It’s always great when you can release a wild animal back to where they belong and it’s great that we have been able to help so many ducks.

“Most of these would have come into us when they were just little ducklings so we’ve watched them grow up in our care. They come in for a lot of reasons but many are due to being orphaned or falling down drains. We still have 20 to go out but I’m not sure if Paige will volunteer again for those!”



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