Throughout his life, a Labrador Retriever named Fred has shown a natural inclination to nurture and care for animals that other dogs might view as prey. In particular, he has a fondness for ducklings and has previously taken care of young birds who have lost their mothers. This year, Fred has once again taken on the role of surrogate parent, “adopting” his third brood of ducklings after their mother disappeared. Though he may not be the typical choice for a parental figure, Fred takes his responsibilities seriously and will continue to care for the ducklings until they are old enough to fend for themselves if their mother doesn’t return.
Meet the Celebrity Father of Ducklings
Fred is a beloved resident of Mountfitchet Castle, located in Essex, England, where he shares space with various other domestic animals. Although he has been a part of this community for some time, it wasn’t until 2018 that he developed an interest in ducks. Since then, he has nurtured and cared for a total of 23 orphaned ducklings in two different batches. While he did take a break from his parenting duties for a little while, he is now gearing up to take on a new challenge.
This year, a duck named Mary laid 15 eggs and successfully hatched them at the castle. However, soon after, she disappeared without leaving any trace of foul play. The staff at the tourist attraction have expressed their hope for her safe return since she was a great mother to her offspring.
While waiting, Fred is taking care of the ducklings as his own. He willingly offers his help without any prompting from others, similar to his previous experiences. His bond with the little ducks is sure to tug at anyone’s heartstrings! According to owner Jeremy Goldsmith, Fred is like their own dedicated stay-at-home dad. Although he may not be as spry as before, his nurturing nature shines through, and it’s truly a joy to witness.
Mountfitchet Castle has recently shared some heartwarming photos of Fred and his adorable duckling children. In the pictures, Fred can be seen snuggling with his feathered offspring, and even giving them piggyback rides. Despite being of a different species, the ducklings seem to have no qualms about cozying up to their unlikely father figure. According to Goldsmith, Fred seems to be thriving in his new role as a protector and caregiver to the little ones. Having spent many years at the castle with other animals, it’s no surprise that Fred has taken so naturally to looking after these rescued ducklings.
Goldsmith is hopeful that Fred, the senior dog, will look after the ducklings until they are fully grown or until their biological mother returns. Mountfitchet Castle intends to keep their social media followers updated with adorable content featuring the old pooch and his little feathered friends. This delightful tale showcases the remarkable bond that animals can form, transcending the boundaries of species to offer care and affection. It also serves as a poignant reminder to practice empathy and kindness towards all living beings. These heartwarming stories capture our attention and admiration, highlighting the compassion and love that exists within the animal kingdom. Such accounts encourage us to appreciate the diversity of relationships that can flourish between different species and remind us of the profound capacity for love that animals possess.