A WILDLIFE rescue centre in Salisbury is urging members of the public not to attempt to rescue ducklings which appear to be stranded away from their mothers.
Creatures In Crisis has been inundated with calls from members of the public reporting lost ducklings.
The centre is looking after 26 birds that have been ‘rescued’ by people.
Kevin Drew, who runs the centre, said it was usual for ducklings to become separated and it could take up to three or four hours for their mothers to come and find them.
But often members of the public want to step in and rescue the ducklings, which can do more harm because when they have been taken from the area there is no chance for them to be reunited with their families.
The ducklings then need to be reared at the centre for about three to four months before they can be released back into the wild.
“The babies swim off and get with another family of ducks and there is a pecking order, so it might look like they are being picked on before they find the right parents,” said Mr Drew.
“Sometimes the public intervene and pick them up but they shouldn’t do so. Please don’t pick up ducklings.
"It’s not the fact that we won’t go back; we assess the situation and we might go back two or three times a day over the period of a week – taking them away from the area is always a last resort.”
This year it is a bigger problem than before as there are lots of ducklings, particularly in The Maltings area in Salisbury.
Mr Drew said: “I’ve been out to The Maltings nine times since Saturday to people saying this is happening.
“It pulls us away from other work and animals with potentially life-threatening injuries.”
People are urged to contact the security team at The Maltings instead. They are trained in duckling rescue and know when to intervene.
“They will keep an eye on them and they’ll call us if needed,” said Mr Drew.
To contact Creatures in Crisis, call 01980 862291 or 07809 471774 for 24/7 rescues.