Dog Becomes “Foster Dad” to Nine Orphaned Ducklings
Fred the resident dog at Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted stepped up to the challenge when nine little ducklings became orphaned last Thursday. The ducklings’ mum had disappeared and a member of staff found them waddling around the castle grounds alone. The team were very worried about the ducklings but Fred, a 10 year old Labrador, immediately took to them and has been babysitting ever since.
On Thursday, the staff at Mountfitchet Castle, a reconstructed Norman castle near Stansted, Essex, made an interesting discovery. They found nine young yellow ducklings wandering around the bustling castle grounds. This unique situation was nothing new for Fred, the resident Labrador of the castle, who has spent his entire life surrounded by creatures of all kinds. Fred has earned a reputation for being a peaceful and affectionate companion to anyone who visits this popular tourist attraction.
Unfortunately, the mother of the ducklings could not be found, and it was suspected that she had been taken away by a fox soon after her babies hatched. Without their mother’s guidance, the ducklings faced a slim chance of surviving the perilous journey to water.
In a heartwarming turn of events, the staff at Mountfitchet Castle shared on Facebook that Fred, the resident Labrador, quickly formed a bond with the ducklings and took on the role of their babysitter. The crew expressed their concern for the well-being of the ducklings, but Fred stepped in and has been looking after them ever since. His nurturing and protective nature provided the orphaned ducklings with the care and attention they needed during this vulnerable time.
Despite the physical differences between Fred and the ducklings’ mother, he has proven to be an exceptional foster dad during the past week.
According to Jeremy Goldsmith, the owner of the castle, Fred has been raised alongside him and his wife Jo in the castle, where they have cared for various rescued animals. Goldsmith shared with The Dodo that they even had a rescued squirrel living in their kitchen for six months.
Ever since Fred was introduced to the orphaned ducklings, they have shown a strong affinity towards him, following him wherever he goes. Goldsmith mentioned that Fred immediately took a liking to the ducklings and has been doing a fantastic job of looking after them. He even joins them for a swim in the castle moat every day, showcasing his dedication to their well-being.
At the end of each day, Fred and the ducklings curl up together and sleep in the same home basket.
The ducklings rely on Fred for their safety and warmth, and the Labrador has become accustomed to having nine tiny shadows around him at all times.
Goldsmith remarked on Fred’s kind personality, describing him as a natural and nurturing father figure. Fred has embraced his role as a parent and is dedicated to the well-being of the ducklings.
For the next two months, Fred will most likely continue his stay-at-home dad duties until the ducklings are fully fledged, independent, and capable of flying. Despite the time and effort required to raise this family, Fred is more than capable of handling the task.
Goldsmith expressed pride in Fred’s remarkable fatherly instincts and his ability to care for all nine ducklings. The entire staff at Mountfitchet Castle holds him in high regard for his dedication and love towards his adopted offspring.