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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Perspective: Saving the ducks

Jack+Lee+poses+with+Zoe+Gooch+and+her+mother%2C+Amy+Gooch.
Photo courtesy of Amy Gooch

Jack Lee poses with Zoe Gooch and her mother, Amy Gooch.

I have been a dishonest journalist.
If you read my recent article about the missing ducks in Aggie Park, hopefully you know a lot about them and the search for them. They are iridescent, black, friendly and a large group of their fans are on the lookout for them.
What I neglected to mention, though, is that I am their biggest fan. I went to Aggie Park to feed the ducks every day, and when the ducks disappeared last Friday, Feb. 24, I was the one who started the search effort that same day. If you’ve seen the posters across campus, I was the one who put them up.
If you ever privately thought I was running a fool’s errand, I don’t blame you. I did too. It’s hard enough to get a hold of humans, how do you expect to find two ducks that can be anywhere in Aggieland? The rational part of me insisted, especially since they disappeared during the night as temperatures were warming up, a family of raccoons probably nabbed them as a tasty treat.
The first days of searching didn’t yield anything. I got a possibly inebriated but well-meaning guy calling me at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, informing me the ducks had been seen at Aggie Park in the pond. I’ve never seen them swim, but I checked anyway. They weren’t there.
More concerningly, I got a ransom call asking me to exchange $100 for the ducks, but nothing came out of that either. I was beginning to have serious second thoughts about the whole ordeal, especially about posting my phone number across campus.
When the article in The Battalion came out, I thought it was too little and too late. It was Wednesday, nearly a week after the ducks had disappeared, and there was still no trace of them. My hope at that point was less that the article might lead to finding the ducks and more that it would at least provide a record of their existence.
The night the article was published, though, I was texted a screenshot of a Facebook post by Amy Gooch, a Texas A&M adjunct computer science professor, with the two ducks clearly in a park a few miles away. I was over the moon. I called Amy, who is a duck owner herself, and we agreed to meet at 7:30 the next morning to take the ducks to a safer place.
I got done with my schoolwork and got home at around midnight, but then I started worrying. I would never let it go if I got this close, only for something to happen to them that night, and they were no longer there in the morning. I decided against sleeping and drove off to find them. To my relief, they were still there, and I set up camp outside to make sure they would still be by the time Amy got there — I didn’t want to pressure her into joining me on my midnight adventure.
After seven hours, two owls and maybe a hundred mosquitos later, Amy and her family showed up to help me rescue the ducks. We corralled them into a cage and took them to Amy’s backyard, which is heaven on Earth for ducks, where they are currently sitting in a safe enclosure, happy as can be.
A couple big clarifications I wanted to make to everyone: these ducks are a type of domesticated, not wild, duck, and moreover, they don’t seem to know how to swim or fly. This makes a public park very dangerous for them in terms of both people and natural predators, and it’s why I don’t think they should be returned to Aggie Park. It also makes it highly unlikely they got to the other park on their own. How they did so is probably going to remain a mystery.
The important thing, anyways, is that despite all odds, the two missing ducks are safe and sound. Amy can’t keep them forever — there’s not enough room in her backyard for them to become a permanent fixture. We’re looking for a more permanent owner with facilities that can keep these two flightless, waterless ducks out of harm’s way.If you’re interested in helping to rehome the ducks, please contact me through the information provided on my website: tx.ag/lostducks.
Jack Lee is a physics freshman and senior news reporter for The Battalion.

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