Police say one of four young domesticated ducks that someone appears to have dumped July 4 at Mead Park did not survive its first weekend there and that a New Canaan woman has agreed to let the remaining waterfowl rehabilitate on her private property. Officials learned about the abandoned ducks July 9 when one of the tennis pros at Mead reported that the birds had been walking up to park visitors as though seeking food and water, according to Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section.
Responding to the park, Halm found the ducks to be “in some distress” and “very thirsty,” and after consulting with authorities at the nonprofit organization Wildlife in Crisis learned that a person had been seen releasing the animals at Mead the prior week. They likely were mail-order mallards or else baby ducklings that had been found by a family and raised in a home “until they didn’t like them anymore,” Halm said. “They have zero defense knowledge or flight drive, no survival skills,” Halm said.
Though the three surviving ducks appeared to be grazing at Mead, “the problem was that they did not go into the pond—they didn’t recognize the pond as a safe haven,” she said. Yet the ducks when shown a water bowl hopped into it to swim, Halm said, indicating that they’d been domesticated in the past.