A MARANGAROO resident who rescued and released ducklings recently only to watch them be pecked to death has a warning for others.
Anne Fitzgerald said she and her neighbours spent several hours on October 3 rescuing a mother duck and her ducklings from a drain.
Ms Fitzgerald said they then took the birds to Lake Goollelal to release them but the mother flew away, abandoning the babies.
She said she called a wildlife volunteer for advice and was told to return the ducklings to the lake near other ducks.
“The other ducks attacked – I released the ducklings and they were immediately pecked to death,” she said.
“All those little ducklings were killed within five minutes.
“It was awful.”
Ms Fitzgerald said a vet had since told her ducks were territorial and people should take abandoned or injured birds to a wildlife rehabilitation centre instead.
Department of Parks and Wildlife senior wildlife officer Rick Dawson said people who saw orphaned, sick or injured wildlife could call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.
“If possible and safe, the best outcome for trapped ducklings is for them to be reunited with their mother if she can be clearly identified,” she said.
“If the mother is not in the area or she cannot be clearly identified, ducklings should not be released into the wild as they will be extremely vulnerable to predation and will not survive on their own.
“In this instance, ducklings should be taken to a wildlife rehabilitation facility.
“Wildcare Helpline volunteers can identify which facilities are most suitable.”