June 01, 2013 - 6:00 AM
A wild animal has taken up residence in the unlikeliest of Vernon places: Walmart.
Staff report a duck checked into a plant rack in the garden centre about three weeks ago. Shortly after, they noticed six eggs tucked beneath her feathers.
The garden centre's department manager Shirley Curzon says the duck made a memorable first impression. "One of our associates was doing something and she hissed at him," Curzon says. "She basically told him back off, this is my territory now."
Curzon has grown attached to the mother duck over the past few weeks, and quite protective of her. "We're all concerned for her, we don't want people to bother her," Curzon says.
While the new feathered mascot is good for business, Curzon worries the publicity might disturb her to the point of terminating her tenancy.
That's why the store has put signs up around the nest, letting people know the plants around it are not for sale.
"The signs are there to protect her," Curzon says.
When the time comes and the eggs hatch, a conservation officer will come and carefully relocate them to the wild.
"We'll all really miss her," Curzon says, just before a passing customer mentions ducks like to nest in the same place every year.
It takes about 28 days for the eggs to hatch, so the Walmart ducklings will be due in about a week.
Until then, Curzon and the garden centre staff will continue to body guard the mother duck, encouraging the public to visit, but reminding them to respect her privacy as well.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)309-5230.
Signs ask customers to look but not touch.
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON /InfoTel Multimedia)
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013