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We received a call from the Lowes home improvement warehouse in reference to a family group of ducks that were roaming the parking area. Upon arrival it was determined that the ducks were trying to get to a ditch between Interstate 26 and the parking lot. This area only floods during heavy rains and then quickly drains into a retention pond.
Understanding the possible issues the ducks may encounter it was determined the ducks would have a better chance of survival at a wetland research area developed by the Forest and Wildlife Group. The duck family was held for a period of time in the laboratory and then released into the 15 acre wetland area. The ducks were monitored periodically for survival and possible illness. The ducks stayed together for a period of about 9 months when the young began to venture away from the female.
Survival rates among the released young were above those represented in normal wild duck populations. Additional photo documentation was conducted as the ducks matured as you can see in the lower photograph at one of the wetland ponds. The ducks left the pond and although some mallards inhabited the wetland area the following spring, it is not known if these ducks returned. Hopefully they will.
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Q: For years, my backyard has been overrun by squirrels. Dozens. Until recently, they were somewhat of an annoyance–digging little holes throughout my yard–but now they have entered my home (the attic specifically). Yesterday, I caught them in my den, rifling through our coffee table bowls of decorative paper mache balls. Please help. — Frank in West Columbia
A: Hi, Frank. You clearly have a rabid case of stolen nut syndrome. Animals and humans have different strengths in their various senses. Rabbits have excellent hearing. Hawks have superior eyesight. Dogs have a stronger sense of smell. And the list could go on. Squirrels have an innate ability to sense the emasculation of a man whipped into submission by a domineering wife. In my expert opinion, your wife took possession of your testicles many years ago, and the squirrels have actually been trying to help locate your nuts ever since. Apparently, there has also been some recent motivating action that has prompted the squirrels to come into your home to try to put a stop to the situation, and for some reason, you want the squirrels gone–along with any hope of retrieving some sense of masculinity within your home. Forest and Wildlife is a diverse group of professionals with a cross-section of expertise, but this one is clearly beyond our control. Good luck.