Dog Becomes ‘Dad’ To Lost Orphaned Ducklings


Fred the Labrador has grown up surrounded by animals of all shapes and sizes. As the resident dog of Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex, a reconstructed Norman castle, Fred has been a gentle and loving presence to anyone who visits the tourist attraction. Now at the ripe age of 10, Fred’s paternal instincts are finally being put to the test. On Thursday, castle staff spotted nine little yellow ducklings aimlessly wandering the bustling grounds.

The ducklings’ mom was nowhere to be found, though it is believed she may have been snatched by a fox shortly after her chicks hatched. Without a parent to guide them, the chance was slim that the ducklings would survive the perilous journey to water.

“The team were very worried about the ducklings, but Fred … immediately took to them and has been babysitting ever since,” a Facebook post explained.

Fred may be a bit larger and furrier than the ducklings’ mom, but over the past week he has proved to be an ideal foster parent. “He has grown up with me and my wife Jo in the castle and our house with rescued animals,” Jeremy Goldsmith, the owner of the castle, told The Dodo. “We even had a squirrel in the kitchen for six months we rescued from the roadside.”

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