Fred, a 10-year-old yellow Labrador, has become an adoptive father to nine abandoned ducklings in Essex, England.
The ducklings were found wandering about the Mountfitchet Castle grounds in Stansted with no mother duck in sight. While the mother duck is still MIA, Fred the Lab has stepped up to give the baby ducks some parental guidance. Despite him being a dog, the ducklings love him like their own mother. They’ve begun hitching a ride on his back and following him into the castle moat for a swim.
Castle manager Jeremy Goldsmith said, “We brought the ducklings into the house as they are too young to fend for themselves, and Fred just took them under his paw – rather than his wing.” Goldsmith notes how gentle Fred is with the baby birds.
The castle was reconstructed as a tourist attraction to resemble traditional times. They’ve picked up a lot of different animals over the years but this is the first case of a duckling-to-dog adoption.
“We have a lot of rescued animals, including deer, goats, chickens and peacocks. We have all the domestic fowl that would have been here in Norman times.”
For more interspecies adoption stories, check out this lioness who adopts a baby leopard cub.