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Ducks staying put

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By Katy Korkos

 

The Ashley Pond chapter of the International Order of Ducks and Geese met in emergency session Friday after ice was observed slowing the water flow from their fountain in the pond. After overnight temperatures dropped into the single digits, a block of ice formed on the fountain, prompting fears that the open water that the anatidae (the biological family that includes ducks, geese and swans) need for survival would disappear.Authorities were contacted, including the Los Alamos County Police Chief Wayne Torpy, Duck Buddies’ President Sallye Sibbitt and Fur and Feathers Rescue officials Bob and Kathy Anderson.After a light lunch of cracked corn and bread crusts, a vote was taken, which resulted in the unanimous decision to stay at the Pond until such time as the fountain was actually frozen.Two ballots were thrown out, making the official tally 17-0 in favor of staying put.“I’d rather be here than at someone’s house with just a bucket of water,” goose Jethro (who would not give his last name) said.“I don’t want anything to happen to the ducks (and geese),” Torpy said. “What I’m worried about is if the pump freezes up at three in the morning some night, will they be alright?” Torpy got reassurances from all of the volunteers who came to help with the possible round-up, that the ducks were being fed and cared for daily, and that they would be moved immediately if the pond could not be kept from freezing solid.“I’ve had these ducks in my care since 1950,” Anderson said. “We have a tremendous amount of love, time and effort invested in these ducks, and we’re not going to let anything happen to them.”The local chapter is comprised solely of domesticated ducks, who are not able to survive in the wild without some assistance from their fine unfeathered friends.To join Duck Buddies or make a contribution, contact Fur and Feathers at 662-6806.