Cluck, quack lead to a fast friendship

  • Updated: August 28, 2009 - 12:32 AM

True friendship can transcend a language barrier, even when the would-be pals speak in quacks and peeps.

At the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, a chicken and duck dropped off last Friday have become inseparable companions.

"As far as bonded pairs go around here, this was unique," said wildlife technician Laura Nelson Schneck. "We put them in separate cages after their exams, and they couldn't see each other. They both started vocalizing loudly and pacing frantically up and down their cages, clearly distressed. When we brought them together, they calmed right down."

While the birds are too young to determine gender for sure, Schenk thinks they are both females, and they were dubbed "Thelma and Louise." The duck may be a white Peking and the chicken a Rhode Island red, she said.

Both will be transferred to Chicken Run Rescue, a local chicken shelter, until they can be placed together "hopefully somewhere where they can socialize with their own species and find an appropriate mate," she said.

The Humane Society's Golden Valley shelters received 199 chickens and 36 domestic ducks last year, some strays, some surrendered by their owners and others from cruelty seizures.

After being reunited, Thelma and Louise "ate ravenously," she said. Then Thelma, the chicken, groomed Louise's beak, and the two fell asleep nestled together.

KRISTIN TILLOTSON

To see Thelma and Louise prance and preen, go to www.startribune.com/video.

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