Crina Dragu
Veterinary surgeon Crina Dragu and her new feathered friend.

A lucky duck has been given a clean bill of health after flying into a wire fence and slicing the full length of its bill down to the bone.

A member of the public saw the incident occur in Broomfield Park in Palmers Green and took the mallard to the veterinary practice opposite the park – Village Vet.

The mallard was quite shocked and vet Crina Dragu was asked to euthanise it before she saw it.

Fixable fowl

Although the damage was bad, Dr Dragu felt sure she could repair the wound through surgery, using tissue glue to set the bill in place.

However, she called the Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) in Trent Park for a second opinion and WRAS chairman and founder Barry Smitherman agreed it was worth trying.

After administering pain relief, Dr Dragu took the animal to Village Vet’s Southgate branch, where an operating suite and recovery unit was available.

Fortuitously, her off-duty colleague VN Clare Green drove by as she set off and stopped to help.

Bill bonding

plucky-duck-images
The plucky duck, before and after the operation to fix its bill – and the resulting egg.

Once in the theatre, the duck was anaesthetised, its wound explored and cleaned and the bill pieced together. Afterwards, it was given a comfy bed for the night in one of the facility’s kennels.

The following morning, Dr Dragu popped into the surgery to check on her patient and was astonished to see not only was it doing well, but it had also laid a large egg.

Cheered by this unexpected turn of events, Dr Dragu called Mr Smitherman again, who took the duck to the WRAS rehabilitation centre in Trent Park.

The plucky mallard is doing well and the plan is to return it to Bloomfield Park when it recovers sufficiently.

Unfortunately, the egg didn’t survive. Ducks do not normally sit on eggs until the full batch is laid – so this may have been the first or last of a batch, or, perhaps more likely, the trauma may have thrown nature off-course.

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