ANOTHER episode of Daffy, the duck that accompanies racehorses swimming in Lady Bay, has emerged.
Warrnambool woman Erin Hurley has provided some background scripts, saying Daffy, or Cove as she once called him, is one of two ducklings that she helped rear for a few months in 2010.
Ms Hurley attributes the bird’s unduck-like attraction to the rowboat that tows the racehorses in Lady Bay to her earlier habit of escorting the duckling in a canoe for his first trips on the Hopkins River.
She was excited to catch up with the duck yesterday at the Warrnambool boat ramp after seeing him pictured on the front page of The Standard on Wednesday.
The duck was also happy to see Ms Hurley, coming over to her when she called it, but there was no rapturous reunion.
The duck now connects more with Tammy Good, who rows the boat that tows the racehorses in Lady Bay, and flew off to accompany her shortly after being reunited with Ms Hurley.
Ms Hurley took no offence, saying she had reared the Australian shelduck to release it and was pleased he had survived in the wild.
She said the duck was one of two she and her former partner Matt Dwyer found at Childers Cove in late 2010.
The two ducklings had emerged from the waves dazed and disoriented, with no mother to be seen.
Ms Hurley took them home and let them primarily fend for themselves in her garden and in other natural habitats around Warrnambool.
One was named Childers and the other Cove after where they were found.
“As they grew, their colours changed and they became more independent. You could see them practising to take flight and we knew it wouldn’t be long before they were ready,” she said.
She and Mr Dwyer were proud and sad when the ducks flew off within days of each others.
“I cried knowing I would probably never see the ducks again and not knowing how they would go in the wild after being cared for by humans,” she said.
But about three weeks after the ducks’ departure, her brother Tim told her he had seen one of the ducks at the Warrnambool Botanic Gardens and she got a friendly welcome from Childers when she visited.
She urged people not to feed the ducks and to let them rely on their natural foods. Ms Hurley hopes contact with humans will not expose them to danger.