Outside Chad Emrick’s apartment complex in Florida lives a family of ducks whom he simply adores. So, last week, when he noticed one of the baby ducks among them was sick and unable to walk, he knew he had to act.
“I’ve always been an animal lover and always try to do my best to help out,” Emrick told The Dodo.
Emrick placed the ailing duckling in a box and contacted a local wildlife rehabber — not realizing the sweet reward he’d later receive for his kindness.
While dropping the duckling off with the rehabber, Emrick came to learn that the little guy likely was suffering from botulism poisoning, a foodborne disease that can prove fatal if left untreated. Fortunately, however, Emrick had gotten him help just in time.
After about a week of expert care, the duckling was back to full health. The rehabber called Emrick to come pick him up so he could be reunited with his family.
Emrick returned home and saw the duckling’s siblings were there to greet them — and soon an adorable reunion unfolded before his eyes:
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Recently I noticed one of the baby ducks in my apartment community was having trouble walking. I kept my eye on him and by the end of that day, he was completely immobile. I took him to a wildlife rehabber who believed he had gotten botulism poisoning. After taking care of him and getting him back to good health, she gave me a call so I could take him back to his family. As you can see, all the feels ensued. ?
To watch just how happy the ducks were to be together once more made Emrick’s heart soar:
“It was all I could do to not melt right into the sidewalk, seeing the little guy waddle over to his siblings, when the last time I had seen him he couldn’t even stand up,” Emrick said.
It was an emotional experience all around.
Afterward, the ducks returned to their mother’s side, their family now complete again — thanks to Emrick’s actions.
“It feels amazing knowing I was able to make a difference,” he said. “Seeing all of the ducks’ reactions was all I could have hoped for.”
Emrick hopes his experience will inspire others to support their own local wildlife rehabbers, who work each day to help ensure happy endings like this one are possible for animals who need it most.