Unidentified man forced nesting duck to leave her nest in Tartu

The duck in the flowerbed outside McDonald's in Tartu.
The duck in the flowerbed outside McDonald's in Tartu. Source: ERR

The Environmental Inspectorate (Keskonnaamet) has opened a misdemeanor procedure after an unidentified man stole the nest and eggs of a duck who has nested in a flower box in Tartu City Center for several years.

Last Thursday (March 5) the famous duck, which has made her nest in a flower bed in front of the McDonalds in Tartu city center for several years, started to incubate her eggs. However, the incubation was disturbed because on Thursday evening, an unknown person frightened the duck and took away her eggs and nest. 

"A man came with a dark coat, a hat, sunglasses and approached the place where the duck was nesting. The duck flew away from the nest and you can see from the camera recording that the man did something near the flower box, leaned over the nest and left," Tanel Türna, Head of Tartu County Environmental Bureau said.

Türna said the duck, the nest and the eggs are all gone. "At present we have a reasonable suspicion that the man took the eggs and the nests with him. The duck flew away and the man didn't catch her. And when the duck came back, she discovered that the eggs and the nest were gone, and she is probably now looking for a new hatchery," he added.

A sign outside McDonald's in Tartu asking people not to feed the nesting duck. Source: ERR

Türna said it is possible that the person was trying to save the duck, resettling her away from the city center.

Aimar Rakko, head of the Hunting and Aquatic Biology Department of the Environmental Board, however, assumes that there was malicious intent behind the actions.

"On this basis, it is possible to claim that it was a malicious intervention. Firstly, the duck was scared away from the nest and then the eggs were taken from the nest. It is possible that the man wanted to eat the eggs," Rakko said.

Rakko urges people to not intervene in the lives of animals living in city spaces, because they can manage themselves. So far, the Environmental inspectorate hasn't been able to identify the man.

The Environmental Inspectorate asks anyone with knowledge of what happened, or about the individual, to contact their Tartu County bureau. 

Intentionally disturbing a wild animal can result in fines of up to €1,200.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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