Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Duck That Won't Die

'Lazarus' Returns From The Dead, Again

It's important to keep in mind when reading the emotion-charged qoutes from vets below that they are all talking about a duck, not a human being.

But it is, now, a very famous duck, so perhaps that played into their reactions as well.

The duck in question was blasted out of the sky by a hunter last week. His wife packed it into the freezer, where it remained for two days until the hunter's wife opened the freezer to find one very alive duck staring back out at her.

But the story doesn't end there. The duck became an instant celebrity and was therefore entitled to top-shelf veterinary care by a team of surgeons and assistants, who battled to 'pluck' the gun shot lead from the duck's wounds in a dramatic life-or-death struggle.

From the BBC :

The ring-neck duck entered surgery with vets confident that she would survive the procedure despite serious injuries to her wing, leg and beak.

But they struggled to fully sedate Perky, who briefly lost consciousness, said Susan May, treasurer of the Goose Creek Animal Sanctuary in Tallahassee.

"The first time she stopped breathing a quick thump on the chest brought her back," Ms May told the BBC News website.

"But once the surgeon started sewing her back up she stopped breathing again, this time for 15 seconds."

When a second thump failed to bring Perky round, veterinary surgeon David Hale tried manipulating the duck's beak, before using a needle to shock her into consciousness.

At one point the duck was given pure oxygen through a face mask, Ms May said.

"At that point the vet turned and said: 'I'm sorry, she's gone.'"

The room fell into shocked silence as those present took in the news, but then Perky raised her head and began flapping her wings.

The relief reduced everyone to tears, Ms May said, describing one of her colleagues as "extremely emotional" as she left the room.

"For the duck to have gone through all of this and then to die at that time was a real shock," Ms May said.

"This duck has taken us all on an emotional rollercoaster," she said, adding that Perky has since recovered well and is staying out of trouble.

Apparently the duck's slow metabolism kept her alive in the freezer for those 48 hours, with the sudden change in temperature, when the freezer door was opened, acting like a wake-up alarm.

The thrice-dead duck now has "volunteers" selling t-shirts in her honour. They hope to raise enough money to "provide long-term care for the bird".

No concern, however, is expressed anywhere in the story for the hunter who is now one duck dinner down.

No comments: