Mallard ducklings that have been under the care of Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s San Diego Wildlife Center for nearly two months are scheduled to be released into the wild Friday at Guajome Regional Park in Oceanside.
The ducklings were transferred to SDWC on April 6 from Project Wildlife, an organization that rescues injured, orphaned and sick wild animals.
“There’s an explosion of ducklings separated from their mothers during this time of year,” SDWC director Trish Jackman said. “These ducklings were about one week old when they arrived. We kept them warm, fed them a special food designed for water fowl, and gave them supervised swimming lessons in a shallow pool. Raising Mallards can have tragic consequences if it’s not done correctly.”
Now they’ve learned to swim and fly, the ducklings will begin their new lives among those of their kind.
“We chose Guajome Lake at Guajome Park in Oceanside because it already has a duck population and there’s an existing food source,” Jackman explained. “We also believe that they were hatched in that area, so it’s the logical place for them to return.”
The release is bittersweet.
“Our goal is to teach them everything they need to know to survive in the wild, but to make sure they’re not too comfortable around humans,” Jackman continued. “They need to be ducks, not pets. Ducks can be territorial. Even though we’ve done a great job with these ducklings, they still have many lessons to learn.”
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