Died of A Broken Heart

In 2003 we ordered some baby Khaki Campbell ducks to start our own little backyard flock. Since we couldn’t keep all that came, we sold pairs to folks in the area. One was to a local couple who used to live in Altadena and now reside in Sunland. They purchased a pair of ducks from us and named them Leda & Lola.

A few weeks ago their owners alerted Jordanne to a problem with one of the ducks, Lola.   They brought her down for Jordanne to examine and the prognosis wasn’t good. From what Jordanne could tell from her symptoms, she either had a tumor or ascites due to some sort of failing organ. Sadly last Saturday Lola passed away peacefully in her sleep. What comforted everyone was that fact that she had lived a happy life with kind folks.

Fearing Leda would be lonely, they brought her down on Sunday morning to be with our three ducks.   Unfortunately, being around the other ducks didn’t help Leda forget about losing her best friend. We kept a close watch, monitoring her behavior. Leda just sat in the corner with her head down, her eyes were sunken back, and she looked as if she was crying – actually she was crying, poor thing. Seeing an animal mourn like this was heartbreaking to watch. Leda was so distraught she even tried to drown herself in the little pool – she wouldn’t get out and allowed herself to sink. Of course we lifted her out of the water, but she refused to dry herself off or even eat. Sensing the outlook wasn’t good, we called the couple and informed them of Leda’s situation, and they came to take her home to be with them.

Last night we got an email that said:

She was laying on her side and crying when we got her up this morning. I tried to make her eat, but she wouldn’t have it. She wouldn’t even drink the eloctrolyte water. We pampered her since we got her back here. She had up and down moments through the night and we stayed with her. We gave her a bath at around noon. As we were holding her she let out a couple of moans. We told her it was ok to go. She just couldn’t go on without Lola. She was crying and she got a bit ancy and then her head went back and she left us. We held her til the end. She had a great life and we loved her. We buried her next to Lola. Thank You for everything. – P & R

Since ducks mate for life, Leda must have felt Lola was her “mate” and friend and treated her as such. We are all very sad over both their losses and even more so over the loss of Lela. To watch a healthy and beautiful duck such as Lela die of a broken heart was very emotional.

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  1. green la girl says:

    So sad! Yet also sort of heartwarming to hear that little creatures feel so deeply —

  2. michelle says:

    How sad… it just goes to show that animals have emotions and feelings just like humans. After reading this, I’m pretty convinced that everyone should go veg. Even “organic” or “humane” meat is no guarantee that the animals don’t feel pain when they’re being slaughtered or sadness when their friends are.

  3. jenn says:

    thank you to your friends and to you for tying to help Leda as much as possible.

  4. Lara in Australia says:

    Thanks for telling this story. Too many people don’t understand the emotional lives of our furry and feathery friends.