Is Larry really Turk?

turk duck
Remember Turk? He was one of two muscovy drakes we rescued from a park in 2009.


They were misidentified as “aggressive nesting geese” but at least the city put up a sign to warn people that these two dumped guys would attack you if you got too close.


We originally placed Rex & Turk with a nice family near Duvall, WA. But as you can see in this photo, Turk was too aggressive for the small children in the family. So we picked them back up and arranged for a sanctuary to take them in.

Then two years passed and we started talking with Baahaus Sanctuary about taking in George the goose.


As we started talking to Glenda at Baahaus this year, she noticed the old stories on our blog about Rex & Turk. That got her thinking about a violent, aggressive muscovy drake she took in last year and named Larry. She asked if I thought it could be the same duck, so when I dropped off Benson & Reggie I took this photo of Larry for comparison.

In comparing the photos, the caruncle really does look similar in shape, especially near the beak. But those black feathers on Turk’s crest aren’t visible in the photo of Larry, and Larry has a lot of different freckles and coloring on his caruncle. The thing that made me think they cannot be the same duck most of all is how interactive Larry is. Turk was stand-off-ish and really didn’t look you in the eye. But Larry looks right at you. So I wrote Glenda back and said “It’s close, but I don’t think they’re the same guy.”

She had a hunch they were the same guy though, so she dug through a year’s worth of old emails and found this note from the first sanctuary:

“We currently have a resident, Turk, a Muscovy duck, who is very unhappy. He came in with his buddy Rex, who sadly disappeared from the pasture about a month ago. Ever since then Turk has been very depressed. He rarely leaves the barn to explore the outdoors…”

“Either he is standing alone, or is chasing the others. Would you be willing to take Turk? Or even try him out there, to see how he does? I think he needs the company of other Muscovies to be happy. He breaks my heart daily.”

Unfortunately, that news means that Rex is no longer among the living… but he did have a second and third chance at the good life. And it also means Larry is Turk! And Larry is at the same great sanctuary as George and Benson & Reggie and so many other wonderful feathered and furry pals.

Small world, eh?

It also means that caruncles change and grow and freckle over time. It’s hard to see with O’Malley since I see him every day, but it’s true. So what has Larry been up to lately? Well he unfortunately has retained his violent behavior and attacks Glenda and her volunteers at least once a week. So he lives in a special area with other trouble makers (attack roosters, among them). I got to see him and talk to him and he had just had a bath. He seems healthy and happy and full of life.

We also heard that while his pen was being cleaned, he snuck out and waaaaay around the other side of some cages to talk to guess who? Benson & Reggie! So Glenda is going to see if he can get along with those two young boys. My money is on Benson pestering Larry-Turk until he snaps and goes postal on him. But we’ll see… we’ll see.

It was sad to hear that Rex had passed but it’s always nice to hear about a long-ago rescue still doing well. From his original unknown home to being dumped at the park in Mill Creek, WA to a new home in Duvall, WA to staying here at Flapper’s house to a first sanctuary and finally a forever sanctuary at Baahaus, Larry-Turk is a great example of the determination and dedication of the animal community around Seattle, especially the good people at Baahaus.


In other news, Lester Leroy is doing okay. He’s not great, but he’s okay. He can’t move around as much as I’d like him to, and I was really hoping to get him moved into the day aviary for the day time, so he could socialize with the other ducks through a fence and spend days with the chickens.

But so far Lester hasn’t shown me that he can get OUT of his pool by himself. He has done it once, but usually he just gets completely water-logged and quacks at me until I rescue him. I can’t leave him alone in the aviary if he’s in danger of drowning. So for now he’s outside but in a pen by himself during the days and nights.

The pool is set up with easy ramps in and out, so I’m hoping he’ll figure them out. Until then, he’s in there on the weekends when I’m home and I set a timer to check on him every :15 minutes to ensure he isn’t swimming too long.


Also new, I sprained my ankle a week ago. It was pretty bad the first few days, but now it has greatly improved. It still hurts with every step, but now I can do daily duck chores without too much pain, and I’m back to just a general level of crankiness.


New girl Ramona is doing well. She has a lot of energy and attitude, and Petunia is a little afraid of her. So Petunia hangs out with the chickens during the days to get a break from Ramona. O’Malley seems smitten with the new lady duck, but he also still likes his girl Petunia. He’s got it good right now.


The chickies are all doing well. They have a scorched earth policy on plant life, so I’m trying to keep them contained long-enough to re-grow some grass in the aviary. Time will tell if I’m successful. Meanwhile they are content to eat the main grass area as long as I share my morning cookie with them.

That’s about it from the Ducks and Clucks this week! Hope you have a great week ahead of you.

P.S. A note to all rescuers and sanctuaries: When you are trying to re-home a problem animal, please be EXTREMELY up-front about it. The first sanctuary described Turk as “chasing the others” when they really should have described him as “the most violent, aggressive duck you’ll ever meet. Seriously, he’ll sneak up on you and murder you while you sleep.” Be clear, so the next home knows what they’re getting into. It’s only fair.

17. April 2011 by Silly Human
Categories: Check-Ins | 8 comments

Comments (8)

  1. Thanks for the update. Glad your ankle is a little better.

  2. Have you ever tried clicker training with the ducks? It is often done using chickens for people to really get the basics of fine tuning. I was thinking perhaps you could clicker train Lestor Leroy to walk out of the pool on the ramp?
    Interesting about the changes in freckling and feathers. Awesome that you can track him through the different homes! Yep I agree animal people are a special breed. I hope your ankle is feeling better.

  3. Wow! Love that story about Turk! Really is a small world isn’t it? I especially love the closing remarks of full disclosure when re-homing a duck as in Turk’s case. LOL!

  4. Sounds like all are doing well Tif. I was glad to hear that Lester is still kept in a protective cage area since he wouldn’t be able to protect himself or get away if a raccoon or some other ‘beast’ would come around. That is amazing about Turk and Larry being one in the same. I’m glad they can keep him separated but still happy. Sorry to hear about Rex.

    If you need help around your backyard with feeding or changing out pool water while you are healing up, let me know. I’m just in Tukwila.

  5. What a cosmic coincidence to see Turk again! He looks great – seems like he is happy and contented, even gained a few pounds.

    Sad about Rex, Turk must have missed his sidekick dearly, but seems like he has come to terms with the loss.

    Cute how you showed O’Malley’s big feet in one pic and follow that with your big feet….

  6. Poor Lester. You are right to keep him away from pools until he proves himself. I had a cute but apparently dim-witted call duck (drake) who couldn’t find his way out of a dishpan when his stepping-rock moved over a couple inches. I found him waterlogged and listing, determined to die. I brought him inside to a warm bath and then a hair dryer and kept him caged indoors overnight. The next morning he was furious and attacking anyone who came near him so I knew he was fine! After what Lester has been through already, you don’t need to tempt fate!
    Amazing story about Turk! Heh heh heh, glad he didn’t end up here!

  7. I loved reading this post. Great story! I’m also intrigued by the changes in caruncles discovered by digging up that old email and verifying that Turk is Larry. Cool!

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