Abstract

On a recent trip that I took to town, the roads were deserted and a family of woodducks was walking near the edge of the road. Ten minutes later I returned and one dead woodduck was in the middle of the road. As ducks generally walk slowly across the road, it was easy to assume that the driver of a car had, maliciously, failed to slow down for them. The driver had further failed to stop after hitting the duck, not knowing perhaps that the whole family would gather around the dead one and thereby risk death from other reckless drivers. I picked up the duck. It was still warm and carried it off the road. As all of the ducks followed, I placed it near a pond, as far away from the road as possible. Another unnecessary death had occurred and another social fabric of an animal species disrupted. The damage was not just done to one but in this case to several members of the species. Had the duck been alive and not too badly injured it would have been taken into care and then released back into the same group.

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