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Duck family finds home in Uptown planter

Paula Parker snaps a photo of the family of the mother duck and her ducklings which have taken up residence in the planters outside the Telus building on Sixth Street. - MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER
Paula Parker snaps a photo of the family of the mother duck and her ducklings which have taken up residence in the planters outside the Telus building on Sixth Street.
— image credit: MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER

The welcome wagon has been rolled out in Uptown New Westminster for a recently arrived family.

Officials, however, are warning people to stay away from them, and especially don’t bring them food or anything to drink.

Last week, someone outside the Telus building on Sixth Street at Sixth Avenue heard some peeping coming from a planter. New Westminster resident Margaret Macaulay said the person peered behind the planter and discovered something with orange and grey fuzz was peering out and realized they were ducklings.

What the family was doing so far away from their natural habitat was baffling. They’ve attracted so much attention that when Macaulay went to take their picture she had to get in line.

She said people have been feeding them bread and bird seed, and one person even placed a cookie tin full of water for the ducklings to splash around in.

“They’re not wanting much, because people have been taking care of them,” said Macaulay.

As cute as the family might be, and as genuine the gestures of their feeders are, it’s the wrong thing to do, according to the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. (WRA).

The Burnaby-based association won’t come and pick them up because as long as the mother is there they can be left to fend for themselves, said Yolanda Brooks. But the only way to encourage the ducks to move to their natural habitat is to stop feeding them.

“Leave them and they will go on their own accord,” said Brooks.

The WRA has had several calls about the ducks and is seeking someone willing to erect a ramp so the ducklings are able to leave the planter and walk away. Brooks said it’s unlikely the mother will lead them off right away, but would wait until the middle of the night when there’s not as many people around.

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