Help! Injured Female Mallard!
I am new to this forum and am only posting because at my local pond there seems to be a female mallard that is injured. I noticed it when she was laying down as her left leg stuck out to her side as opposed to beneath her like normal. When she stood up to walk away she hobbled on one leg and let the other drag sideways until she got into the water. Thinking her leg was broken I contacted my local rehabilitator and was informed to bring the duck in. Upon returning to the pond and finding her again, I noticed that she was standing on her good leg with her bad left leg tucked up underneath her and her foot dangling. She then proceeded to scratch her head with her bad left foot. Seeing this I thought, "Oh ok well she just did something that hurt it for a while but now its fine". However, as I approached her she hobbled off in the same manner she did the last time I saw her (not placing any weight on her leg and lettting it drag slightly). I carefully watched her for some time to see more of how she uses it. While swimming she will occasionally kick with her bad foot to keep her moving in the right direction but she uses it half, if not less than half, as much as her right foot. Also, while swimming it sticks slightly out to the side. When on land, she will not bare any weight on it at all but she can still manage to constantly scratch her head with her leg. Anyone have any ideas what this may be? I am hesitant to remove her from the pond and take her to the rehabilitator. She has a mate that follows her everywhere and I am afraid she has eggs laying around that she may be readying to attend to...Any help as to what I should do would be greatly appreciated. I want to help her but don't want to make things worse by removing her from her home.