Landlady is quackers about lost duckling

PUBLISHED: 19:41 28 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:18 06 May 2010

Gail Payne with the rescued duckling

Gail Payne with the rescued duckling

A LOST duckling has been rescued by a landlady who is something of an expert in saving the birds since hand-rearing 10 of them last year. Gail Payne, who owns the Black Lion pub and hotel in Fishpool Street, St Albans, took in the duckling after she foun

A LOST duckling has been rescued by a landlady who is something of an expert in saving the birds since hand-rearing 10 of them last year.

Gail Payne, who owns the Black Lion pub and hotel in Fishpool Street, St Albans, took in the duckling after she found it stranded on a seven-foot-high wall too frightened to jump into the river and follow its mother and siblings.

Gail managed to catch the cream and brown duckling but the mother had already swum off and despite spending an-hour-and-a-half searching for her, she couldn't be found.

However the young quacker has settled into pub life extremely well and is now happily waddling around entertaining the customers.

It is becoming a popular attraction and Gail said it was the male customers who were going particularly "gooey" at the sight of the duckling.

Last year Gail saved 10 orphaned ducklings when their mother was killed by a car after laying her eggs in a neighbour's garden.

Gail decided to try to hatch them and after spending two nights tucked up in bed with them in a shoebox, decided to get an incubator- and three week's later they hatched.

Having developed at the Black Lion, the ducklings were then released into the wild and can now be spotted waddling around Verulamium Park.

Gail said: "It's really funny, I click my fingers in the park and they turn around and come towards me as I used to click my fingers before I fed them."

She is hoping that she will be able to release the latest duckling there but she fears it may not be as easy as it has no siblings to follow.

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