Fred the Labrador is the resident dog of Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex, a reconstructed Norman castle. The gentle giant has grown up surrounded by all kinds of different animals and is a friend to anyone who visits the tourist attraction.
Now the 10-year-old dog is taking a stab at being a dad. When the staff saw nine little ducklings wandering the castle grounds without a mom, Fred took to them immediately. And the Labrador has been babysitting them ever since! 🙂
They figure the ducklings’ mom may have been snatched by a fox shortly after her chicks were hatched. But even though Fred looks nothing like her, the ducklings have accepted him as their surrogate! And the loving dog has proven to be the ideal foster parent.
The little ducklings follow Fred everywhere, and they even swim in the castle moat every day together! At night, the dog and his ducklings sleep in the same basket in the house. The tiny babies have learned to rely on Fred, and the Labrador is a natural father and parent. 🙂
Fred will likely care for the ducklings for a few more months before they fledge and become independent going out on their own. In the meantime, Fred welcomes the challenge of being a parent!