Orphaned ducklings

Mother duck mowed down outside infant school

A mother duck crossing the road with her ducklings was mowed down yesterday to the horror of a school community.

School caretakers stood in the road to help the mother duck cross, but the motorist “zoomed around them” and killed the duck, which had been nesting at Ewell Castle School in Ewell Village.

The two men had been carrying the duckings across Spring Street in a cardboard box and took them to the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF) Hospital in Leatherhead.

Michelle Phillips, headteacher, said: “We had a dreadful situation involving the mother duck that had been nesting on our Chessington Lodge site opposite Bourne Hall.

“She was well-known and loved by staff and children alike.”

The headteacher said the caretaking team stood in the road to protect mother as she went across the busy road to the pond in Bourne Hall.

She said: “When suddenly this driver zoomed around them, rather than waiting and killed her. The whole school community were very upset as you can imagine.”

She added: “The plan is for us to fundraise for the animal hospital in gratitude for their help and all the work they do.

“It would be good to shame whoever is responsible for this selfish and cruel act.”

Graham Tapp, who was helping the ducks to cross with his boss Steve Miller, said the hit-and-run driver swerved round them and killed the mother duck.

Orphaned ducklingsMr Tapp said: “We were left holding the box of ducklings in the middle of the road. We took the duckings into the school and then took them to the Leatherhead wildlife hospital.”

Madhurittu Puri, who works in the school’s nursery, said the father and mother ducks, known as Mr and Mrs Mallard, have been seen at the school for about eight years.

Mrs Puri said: “Every year the mother duck walks her ducklings across the road when they are going to learn swimming.

“I’m quite upset about it because they have been part of our school for quite a long time. I’m upset because the ducklings lost their mum but the people at Wildlife Aid were lovely.”

Simon Cowell, founder of the WAF, said: “It’s tragic. At this time of year in particular everybody needs to take a care because everything is nesting.

“When you see something going on in the road you should stop and wait rather than drive straight on and kill a mother duck.”

Mr Cowell said they will take care of her ducklings until they are ready to be released back into the wild and welcomed the fundraising by the school.

He said: “Fantastic. That’s really kind. We get an awful lot of money from people who help us and it’s often children.”

Ewell resident Paul Warner said: “It’s sad when something like this happens. I think motorists should take a bit more care because there are a lot of ducks in the area.

“I know people can be in a bit of a rush but they should take more care.”

To donate to Wildlife Aid visit www.wildlifeaid.org.uk

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Born in North London and brought up in South London so clearly I have good knowledge of the city! Loves football, rugby and mountain biking, need to travel for the last one !

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