Castle Espie duckling missing

Castle Espie duckling missing

25 July 2018

CASTLE Espie is still on the hunt for a missing duckling thought to have been stolen from the wetland centre near Comber.

Worth around £600, the two-week-old Mandarin duckling was introduced to the public on Monday, but police said they believe it was stolen sometime between 1pm and 3pm that day.

Due to its young age, the duckling requires a special diet, so the centre is anxious to secure its return.

Updating those who had sent messages of support to Castle Espie, a spokesman said this week: “Sadly our missing Mandarin duckling hasn’t been returned. We’ve been amazed by everyone’s continued messages of support and kindness, so as a team we would again like to say thank you.”

The East Asian species is very valuable and can be sold at a high price, according to the bird sanctuary.

While Mandarin ducks aren’t rare, Castle Espie explained that they are “in high demand for private collections in western Europe due to their ornate plumage”.

“As a leading conservation organisation, we take the utmost care to look after all of the species kept on-site,” said the charity’s marketing manager, Karl Simmonds.

“As a team, we are extremely saddened that someone had decided to take one of our Mandarin ducklings.”

A PSNI spokesman said: “I would appeal to anyone who saw any suspicious activity, or anyone who knows anything about this, to get in touch.

“I would also ask anyone who is offered a Mandarin duckling for sale in suspicious circumstances to contact us.” Police can be contacted on 101.