Please Don't Eat Me! Ducklings Snuggle Up to Kookaburra
The U.K. wildlife park has a breeding pair of kookaburras, carnivorous birds that are native to Australia and eat snakes, lizards and small birds. This year, the mother kookaburra killed two of her three babies, and the park's director, Lorraine Adams, took to hand-rearing the surviving bird, which she named Kookie.
"When we first took Kookie away from the nest, he was really bad and scary-looking, with these big eyes that weren't open," Adams tells PEOPLEPets.com. "Over the days, these tiny, tiny feathers started coming through on the wings and the head. He's certainly not the most beautiful bird in the world right now, but he's very gentle."
Meanwhile, about five days ago, some Madagascar teal ducklings hatched at the park, and because of their diminutive size, the birds don't always survive. So Adams took one little duckling and took it into the incubation house to hand-rear herself.
"One night, it was just crying and chirping for its mother," Adams says. "I put it in with the kookaburra thinking, 'I wonder what will happen?' It was just amazing –the duckling was snuggling and trying to get under the kookaburra's wing as if it was mum."
The 5-day-old duckling and the 7-week-old kookaburra have, amazingly, been co-habitating without any signs of trouble. Other ducklings have since been introduced to Kookie, and though they don't have the same lifestyle (the ducklings are busy and running around, while the kookaburra mostly sits), the birds continue to enjoy each other's company.
"Will they grow up to live together in harmony? I doubt it," Adams says. "If he got hungry one day, he'd just open his massive beak and gobble the duckling up. But for now, it's a very sweet story."
Meet more unlikely friends on PEOPLEPets.com:
Crazy Love? Wilma the Ostrich and Bea the Giraffe Become Unlikely BFFs
Who Says Size Matters? Big and Tiny Owl Are Each Other's Wingman
On Newsstands Now
- Brad's Devotion: The Inside Story
- Oklahoma Tornado: Heroic Rescues
- Michael Douglas on Catherine's Health
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine