Healesville Sanctuary’s keepers have discovered one of its resident ducks loves listening to music. Jiminy Cricket is a Plumed Whistling Duck named after her species’ distinctive whistling call. She was born in Healesville Sanctuary’s wetlands, but had to be taken into the care of keepers at a few days old.
“Right after she was born, some of the other ducks were bullying her,” explained sanctuary platypus keeper Jess Thomas.
“The keepers rescued her and brought her to me, because I was already looking after two orphaned wild Wood ducks.”
Dr Thomas often finds the ducks in the water with the platypus. Jiminy has a special bond with female platypus Bimini.
Jiminy also loves to relax by spending time listening to music with Dr Thomas.
“She likes all kinds of music, from instrumental to rock. I’ll just sit down and play music on my phone and she’ll come right over to sit next to me and listen,” said Dr Thomas.
Jiminy is full of surprises. At two years old, she has recently reached maturity, so keepers took a feather to run a genetic test and discovered that she is in fact female.
“I did think Jiminy was a boy when we first got her, because boy and girl Plumed Whistling ducks look very similar,” said Dr Thomas.
“Knowing now that she is female does explain some of her behaviours, because girl ducks are often quite dominant. Jiminy is very strong-willed. She always gets to the food first and is quite monopolising of our one boy duck.”
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