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Wade the wandering duck returned to Guelph family

Wade the wood duck was found safe in a Guelph backyard on Sunday morning, after having been missing for more than a week

A Guelph family was moved to tears on Sunday when their beloved wood duck, Wade, returned home after a lengthy and stressful separation.

Tazmin Smith took Wade in at the start of the pandemic after her cat brought him home. The humane society and nearby rescues didn’t have the capacity to take him, so instead, she said he became part of their family. 

They purchased a black Cayuga duck named Vader to ensure Wade had a friend. When Wade got out of his pen sometime around Aug. 5, the whole family – including Vader, became distraught. 

As sociable creatures, ducks need companions to stay happy. Without Wade, Vader seemed depressed. He was quiet and not eating much the entire time his friend was missing. 

“For him to be quiet, something’s wrong,” Smith said. 

But that changed when a resident in the Eastview Road and Mountford Drive area contacted Smith saying Wade had ended up in her backyard. 

“When I got that message in the morning, I have never jumped out of a chair so damn fast,” she said. “I was so happy to the point where I cried.”

Smith believes he was in a tussle with something as he came home with his beak scratched up, but other than that he was unscathed. 

Since he’s been home, he’s been getting lots of treats – his favourite is cilantro – and snuggles from the family. Vader has been following him non-stop around their pen, not letting him out of his sight. 

Smith noted that she has applied for an aviculture permit, which would enable her to legally possess a migratory bird like Wade.