Duck and duckling in care at the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre after being drenched in engine oil

Staff at the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk are currently caring for a mother duck and

Staff at the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk are currently caring for a mother duck and her ducking, who managed to get themselves drenched in engine oil. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

A mother duck and one of her ducklings are being cared for after they managed to get themselves drenched in engine oil.

The duck and her four ducklings were regular visitors to the grounds of Swaffham Veterinary Centre in Tower Meadows, Swaffham.

Staff there had even made her a makeshift pool where she could take a dip when she visited, and the family were a regular sight in the area.

However, on Monday, (July 17) when she waddled over, staff were horrified to see she was drenched from top to bottom with engine oil as well as one of her ducklings.

They called the RSPCA and a driver was sent to collect the family and took them to the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre where they were washed in a bath of warm water and detergent to remove the oil.


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It took around 10 minutes for the youngsters and 20 minutes for mum as she was covered in it.

Following their clean up the family are now being cared for at East Winch, but sadly one of the ducklings is still extremely poorly after ingesting oil and it is not known if they will pull through.

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Alison Charles, centre manager, said: 'It was very sad to see the poor mum covered from head to toe with oil, she literally had it dripping off her beak. While it would appear this has been an accident, we would always urge people to be mindful of how they dispose of and store oil.

'Due to the heavy covering and possible ingestion of oil, two of the ducks will have to be kept in for observation and both may need a second wash. We know the staff at the vets are extremely fond of them and have really missed not seeing the family waddling by as usual, but it may be some time before they can go home.'

It is not known how the birds became covered in oil, but there are a number of garages nearby and veterinary staff believe the birds may have accidentally fallen into something.

How you can help

-Anyone who sees wildlife they think may be in need of help should contact the RSPCA, 24 hours a day, on 0300 1234 999.

-Remember to always wear gloves when handling any wild animal, especially oiled wildlife – pollutants like oil can be hazardous. More advice can be found on our website at www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals-If you would like to help RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre continue rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wildlife with a donation of just £3, simply text RSPCA3 to 70007 (Texts cost £3 + standard network rate).

-RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre will also be hosting an open day on Sunday, July 23 from 10am until 4pm.

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