Caspar, the Duck with Slippers, had triple good luck the day he was rescued in Central Park’s Harlem Meer.
First, he was found before dogs could take advantage of his inability to fly due to severely clipped wings. (He was literally a sitting duck!) Second, the person who found him knew just what to do, because Patty Adjamine, founder of New Yorkers for Companion Animals, is always on the lookout for animals in trouble. Caspar isn’t the first creature that she’s brought to the Wild Bird Fund; in fact, she brought two other ducks from Harlem Meer, an injured mallard and a Peking duck that had been attacked by a dog.
Caspar—who appears to be a cross between Muscovy and Peking ducks—was unusual in that he was approaching people to beg for food. Clearly, at some point in his life he had depended upon humans; his bill was also clipped.
Whether he escaped or was dumped at the park, he was a domesticated duck on his own and in imminent danger when Patty found him. Many domesticated birds (chickens, quails, chukkars, guinea hens, and fancy pigeons as well as ducks) are brought to the WBF. Usually, being utterly unprepared to exist in the wild, they need a great deal of care. Although caring for them is not part of our mission, there is no other facility in the city available to treat or place them, so we do our best to help.
In addition to being unable to fly, Caspar had a condition called bumblefoot, which results from a duck’s spending too little time in the water. Bumblefoot makes it painful to walk or stand and can be life-threatening if feet become severely infected. Caspar’s third helping of good luck was that, by an amazing coincidence, another volunteer owned a pair of “slippers” she’d once had custom-made for her own duck with bumblefoot…and they fit Caspar to a T. Between the slippers, antibiotics, and twice-daily Epsom salt foot soaks, Caspar recovered completely and was taken to a wonderful sanctuary on an upstate farm, where he can grow back his flight feathers and live a true duck life among other ducks.
Read more stories in the Wild Bird Fund Newsletter