Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Perky almost quit being perky, part 3

(Read previous posts for more perky-Perky info.)

Perky the duck

After enduring being shot, dragged by a dog and then having her presumed dead body thrown in a kitchen fridge, US wonder-fowl Perky the duck has again shown her lust for life during an operation to repair her injured wing yesterday.

Perky suddenly stopped breathing during the operation, said Noni Beck, wildlife rehabilitator at the Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in Tallahassee, Florida.

"It was a rough day yesterday," she told

She said she had taken Perky to a local veterinarian for the operation, where she was told it would be touch-and-go for the fragile bird.

The vet began to operate and had just finished pinning Perky's wing when she abruptly stopped breathing, Ms Beck said.

"He's giving her oxygen, he's kind of tapping on her chest - he actually took a needle and kind of stuck her, because a little pain response can make you gag - and then he turned to me and said, 'She's gone, I am so sorry.' ''

But suddenly the duck came back.

"We were sitting there looking at each other and then it's been 10 seconds and somebody said: 'She just took a breath.' "

Ms Beck didn't realise how affected she was by Perky's close call until she went to her car afterwards to call a friend.

"I literally broke down, I was sobbing on the phone. I think the first words to come out of my mouth were: 'She's alive.' It was an emotional rollercoaster.

"She's stolen all our hearts, she's such a perky little thing."

Perky is now back at the sanctuary, doing well and spending much of her time on her personal heating pad, Ms Beck said.

Perky's amazing story has generated an huge amount of interest in what the sanctuary does.

"The response has just been unbelievable," Ms Beck said.

Numerous donations had been received as well as an almost overwhelming number of telephone calls from concerned citizens.

But the best thing, she said, was when one of the volunteers' sisters hit upon an idea.

"She said: 'Y'all need to make a T-shirt.' "

So Ms Beck and her team are now selling T-shirts with all funds going to Perky's recuperation and the sanctuary.

The T-shirt says "I helped the lucky duck" and has a picture of Perky on it.

A local mall has a stall for the T-shirts and they are also being sold on a local man's website.

Ms Beck said about 80 shirts had already been sold.