Sunday, September 11, 2011

Inseparable pet duck follows owner everywhere

An 11-week-old duckling shunned by its family has taken such a shine to his new ‘dad’ it follows him everywhere – including the pub. Barrie Hayman, 65, cuts an unusual figure in his home town as devoted duck Star waddles behind him. The Indian Runner Duck follows him around the shops, drinks at his local pub, watches rugby and has his own Facebook page. Star even waits patiently in the foyer of his local Tesco as Barrie gets his groceries.

Barrie rescued Star when he was just days old and started doing a distressed ‘waddling dance’ when he was put near his siblings. ”He just won’t leave me and so now we go everywhere together,” said Barrie. ”I’ve not trained him to follow me, he just seems to like it and he is one fantastic duck – I’ve never known any like it before. He comes to the pub, where everyone loves him and we’ll be watching his first world cup together next week. He just won’t mix at all with the other ducks and became distressed when I tried to put him with them.

”He is 11 weeks old now and going through the ugly duckling stage, but I know he will be magnificent soon.” Grandfather-of-one Barrie, of Eastleigh near Bideford, north Devon, plucked Star from the incubator when he was days old and popped him in his pocket. He has bred ducks for 18 months but said he knew Star was different from the moment he was born. ”He is such a personality and attracts so much attention,” Barrie said. ”Children just seem to love him.

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”You get a few shocked faces walking into a shop with a duck following you. He did get a bad reception at one place, but everyone else seems to just love him – he is becoming a bit of an exhibitionist. When he was younger I would put him in my pocket while I did my shopping. Now he’s bigger, he happily waits in the foyer of my local Tesco as I nip in. He’s not fazed at all. I try not to keep him there too long in case someone pinches him, but he’s quite happy waiting.”

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