Duck herders

Albert Pepin of Texas City tries to wrangle a wayward duck in the parking lot of The Daily News on Wednesday afternoon. Pepin and his wife halted traffic along the Emmett F Lowry Expressway when they saw some adult ducks with about 30 ducklings trying to cross the highway. 


T.J. AULDS/The Daily News

TEXAS CITY — It begs the question, why did the ducks cross the road? 

No one really knows the answer, but Albert and Lillian Pepin held up traffic and made sure some mother ducks and their 30 ducklings crossed the feeder road of the Emmett F. Lowry Expressway safely Wednesday afternoon. With the help of Texas City Animal Control Officer Dana Bohn, the ducklings were gathered up and returned to their likely home, the pond at College of the Mainland.

Lillian Pepin said she and her husband were headed westbound on the expressway near the Amburn Road exit when they saw the ducks gathered on the side of the road and preparing to cross into traffic. 

“We didn’t want them to get hit, so we pulled over and my husband went to one side and I was on the other and we guided them across the road,” Pepin said. 

She called animal control, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the county’s Animal Alliance for help. At first to no avail.

“No one really seemed to care,” Pepin said. “The game wardens told me that was part of life and if they got hit and died, that was it.”

In stepped Bohn.

She said animal control “doesn’t deal with ducks,” but in this case she made an exception.

“I wasn’t going to let these ducks get killed,” Bohn said.

The ducks gathered in the ditch and parking lot of The Daily News’ Texas City office, which sits across the expressway from the college. College of the Mainland is well known for its population of ducks, and in fact its school mascot is a duck.

Bohn, the Pepins and some employees from Texas First Financial Group and The Daily News helped heard the ducklings. It was not an easy task.

“These suckers move fast,” Bohn said, out of breath after collecting 24 of the little ones and putting them in a large paper sack before loading them in the back of her truck.

Catching the adult ducks was another matter.

“They kept flying away from us,” Bohn said.

Eventually the ducklings were gathered up and Bohn took them back to the pond in front of the college.

“I figure the mama ducks will go back over there once they figure out that’s where their babies are,” Bohn said.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.


Did you know?

The ducks, long a fixture at College of the Mainland, made their first appearance at the college after Jewish business owners in Texas City donated 12 ducks in honor of the 11 Israeli athletes and the German police officer killed by the Palestinian terrorists Black September during the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. Over the years the ducks breaded, and people would dump other ducks at the college campus. 

The population grew. The ducks are a popular attraction at the college, and people often stop to feed the collection.

No one knows how many ducks call the college campus home, but estimates are in the hundreds. The college does not care for or feed the ducks but forbids anyone hunting, taking or harming the ducks.

The ducks on campus are so comfortable around people that they sometimes get aggressive when someone doesn’t feed them.

While the college doesn’t have athletic teams, its intramural sports and debate teams use the Ducks as the mascot.

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(1) comment

Charlene Watts

[sad]

My good source at COM has informed me that all the ducklngs have died!! She in fact has rescued and still cares for ducks that have been harmed and or abandoned. You are NEVER supposed to seperate a duckling from its Mother.

She rescued 2 last night, brought them home and they both died this morning. She also diposed of several ducklings that were found in a ditch by COM.

Please, if you do not know what to do when you see something like that - call the proper authorities!!!

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