One day, in a Walmart parking lot, a woman came across Keeper, a confused duck wandering around all alone, and decided to help.
She contacted the kind people at Alyssa’s Animal Sanctuary, and thankfully, they came to the rescue.
Alyssa Barry, founder of the sanctuary told The Dodo “She is a Pekin duck so she can’t fly, so to be hanging around a place where there is no water nearby is weird for a duck to start but then this woman noticed she was staying up near the doors, near where people were at like she wanted someone to help her.”
“When she noticed she had difficulty walking and had a bad limp, that’s when she decided to call us.”
They soon noticed that Keeper was pigeon-toed, which is likely the reason she was abandoned, but that wasn’t all of it:
“We noticed right away that she had trouble swimming. When her feathers got wet the water did not bead off of her like it should have, but instead the water-soaked her and she would become waterlogged.”
“So her ability to float and stay above water became difficult for her, and then when she would paddle her feet, her feet would hit each other, and she would immediately start showing signs of stress, so we would pull her out of the water, and just sort of quickly learned that she wouldn’t be able to use our big pool.”
Barry soon found out that Keeper was missing a preen gland which helps make the duck waterproof, and able to swim.
This meant Keeper wouldn’t be able to hang out with the other duck in the water, and this just made her sad. Barry was not happy to let this go.
“She of course has a kiddie pool that she can get into any time and stand-in, but ducks like to stay with their paddlings (their group/family), so every day I would watch as her family would go up into the pool and she would sit at the bottom of the ramp by herself until they came back down.”
“It made me sad to watch her sit alone at the bottom of the ramp while her family played in their pool all day, and just wait for them to come back down out of the pool.”
Barry tried to think of a way to let Keeper hang out with her family without the risk of drowning, and she was at a loss.
Until one day she spotted the solution while shopping at Walmart.
“She learned very quickly that she could balance perfectly fine on it, and she WANTED to be on it.”
“It only took her a few minutes to realize that now she was in the pool with her family and she was perfectly content and sat there all day long.”
Check out the video of Kepper on her beloved floatie:
“It just sort of became this daily thing, where we would pick her up and put her on her float and she loved it. I think she finally felt like she could be part of her family again.”
Keeper loves being able to hang out with her family again and seems very content riding around on her beloved floatie, and it seems like the other ducks enjoy it too!
“The other ducks have not tried to get on her floatie at all, or even bother her when she’s on it.”
“She just lounges on it all day and it just sort of blows around the pool in the breeze and it works perfectly!”
Someone from the sanctuary is always around just in case Keeper falls into the pool, failing this, there is an underwater ledge that Keeper can you to get herself to safety.
“We are working on expanding the ledge to go across the whole length of the pool, and make the pool even more accessible for her, but her duck floatie has been life-changing for her.”
What a beautiful story, and great work from everyone at Alyssa’s Animal Sanctuary!