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Labrador Becomes Foster Dad to Six Ducklings

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  • Fred the Labrador first became famous by fostering 9 ducklings last year.
  • This time, it’s 6 ducklings, who got left behind when the mother duckling wandered off.
  • The new batch of ducklings immediately warmed up to Fred and accepted him as their new mother.

A mother animal fostering another animal is nothing new. We have seen stories of Mama cats breastfeeding puppies and Mama dogs doing the same for kittens. It’s just part of their motherly instinct. What’s less common is a male animal doing the fostering, especially ones that are an entirely different animal from him.

This is why Fred the Labrador is very special indeed. This 11-year-old cutie stole the hearts of the internet last year when he adopted nine ducklings (the mother duck vanished).

Now he’s playing the father role again by taking in six new ones to look after.

The six ducklings got left behind when the mother, a Muscovy duck, roamed around together with other six ducklings.

Fred with the first batch of ducklings he fostered.
Fred is the resident pet at Mountfitchet Castle near Stansted, Essex in the southeast of England. The wooden castle is a historic site and also served as a Roman signals fort.
It later became a Viking and Saxon settlement prior to getting attacked by William the Conqueror in 1066.

“He took to his role like a duck to water,” said Jeremy Goldsmith, director of Mountfitchet Castle. “Fred has got an absolutely wonderful nature. They absolutely love him.”

Fred immediately showed love to the ducklings after he was introduced to the lot.

He let the ducklings climbed on his back, warming up to each other.

“Fred indicated straight away that there would be no ducking out of his duties as he settled in around them,” Goldsmith said.

“Within minutes the ducklings accepted their odd looking new mum and were climbing all over him.”

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