Then, one night, her two siblings disappeared without a trace. We tried over a course of days to catch Said for her own protection, to no avail. And a week later, we found her, a bloody mess, having barely survived yet another major battle (extensive head and eye injuries). At this point, she was too weak to prevent us catching her. So, back to the chicken pen she went. Dr. O came to visit her, giving her some mega antibiotics, and we continued to clean and treat her wounds daily. When her antibiotics and topical treatments were finished, having lost her right eye completely, we knew we could not re-relaease her again onto the pond, or it would mean her certain death. Keeping her permenantly in the chicken pen was just not an option either -- it was so sad --- she was sooo lonesome out there, despite many visits every day from the children.
So, with a bit of saddness, DadToCherubs relocated her very early one morning to the duck park that we visited often. There were lots of ducks and geese, plenty of food sources, a flowling creek with nice swimming holes ... and we had been visiting the same ducks for nearly a year (which meant survival there was pretty likely). We thought that she would probably be safer there (no snapping turtles) and would be able to be "social" with ducky-friends. He took her to the park, and we waited several weeks in hopes that she would "forget" us and learn to be part of her new community and her new environment.
And today, we saw her for the first time since she went to the park .... she was surrounded by feathered ducky-friends, happily quacking to one another. She was splashing and swimming in the pools of the creek, while snapping up the bread we were feeding to her and to her friends. She was covered in bright white shiny feathers, and had grown to be quite a plump lady since we saw her last. She seemed genuinely happy to see us in particular --- following us a bit while we visited. She even stood still to let some of the children "pet" her. Needless to say, she is THRILLED with her new home.
I just love a happy ending, don't you ?!?!
** Photo above taken this afternoon. "Said" is in the front, with a tan duck who seemed to be a close friend. **