In the UK, a group of 15 orphaned ducklings have found an unlikely adoptive father: a Labrador retriever named Fred. This surrogate father is the warden’s dog at Mountfitchet Castle in Essex, northeast London. The latter posted images on Facebook in which we see the ducklings riding on Fred’s back. On others, they huddle between its legs.
The ducklings’ mother mysteriously disappeared overnight, reports “The Independent”. And the 15-year-old Labrador has obviously decided it’s his duty to protect them.
The British press specifies that Fred had already been noticed in the past for a similar behavior: in 2018, he had adopted and taken care of 9 orphan chicks.
Dog owner Jeremy Goldsmith isn’t surprised by his pet’s behavior. “Fred spent a lot of time at the castle with the animals and it became second nature for him to be among the various rescued animals,” he noted.
Ducklings should stay with the Labrador at the castle until they are old enough to be on their own.