Jul 15

Lucky the Duck Gets Unhooked by SeaWorld Orlando’s Bird Experts

A few weeks ago, a Muscovy duck was brought to SeaWorld with a discarded fishing line and hook embedded in his mouth. Although we're guessing that at one time there was something tasty at the end of the line, this unlucky duck was duped like many other ducks who nibble on discarded fishing material. Helping animals both big and small, our bird experts jumped on the opportunity to help unhook this little guy.

He was found by a pond south of Kissimmee and brought to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Central Florida. When they saw how deeply embedded the hook was in the duck's mouth, they called on our aviculture team (bird experts) at SeaWorld Orlando to help remove it.

Vitals were taken, and he was checked out thoroughly by our veterinarians. Our vets estimated that the hook had been in his mouth for months. They were surprised that he didn't have any major infections from the old hook, and that's when they coined the name Lucky. After checking the wound, they decided the best way to remove the hook would be through surgery.

He was given general anesthesia so he wouldn’t feel pain while the hook was being removed, and our veterinarians then took x-rays of Lucky to make sure there were no other foreign objects in him.

After the x-rays turned out okay, Dr. Croft prepared to remove the hook. Because it had a small barb at the end, the surgery was done very carefully with much precision.

Once the hook was removed, Lucky was well on his way to recovery and has plans to be released at his home pond when he's ready. “Lucky is doing extremely well – he’s eating voraciously and the hook wound is healing nicely,” said Dr. Croft.

We are happy to say that this duck went from no luck to Lucky.

Injured birds often don’t get the care they need in order to survive. What should you do if you spot an injured bird? Bring native birds to SeaWorld's animal care team from 5:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. If you find an injured hawk, eagle, owl or vulture (bird of prey), call the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland directly at 407-644-0190, as they specialize in the recovery of these birds. If you see a bird that has most of its feathers, odd are it's in the fledging process and is okay. But, If you see a bird that looks almost featherless, chances are it needs help.