A motherless duckling was briefly taken into protective custody by Burnaby RCMP earlier this month.
The hapless baby bird was one of a bunch of ducklings suddenly forsaken when their mother was hit by a vehicle on Highway 1 between Kensington Avenue and Gaglardi Way on May 6.
“We got a 911 call about people stopping on the highway and trying to round up some ducks,” said Const. Jonathan Gillis, a Hope Mountie who was doing general duty overtime in Burnaby at the time.
Gillis was in one of two patrol cars that responded to the incident beside the eastbound lanes of the highway.
The mother duck was still alive by the time Gillis got there but succumbed to her injuries on route to the Wildlife Rescue Association facility in the other police vehicle.
Police, with help from some civilians, herded the baby ducks off the highway.
Only one was rescued – Stu, as Gillis has dubbed him.
“The rest of them went off into the brush,” Gillis said.
The baby bird found a comfortable seat in the Mountie’s forage cap on the way to the wildlife centre.
“He was so cute,” Gillis said.