A tame duck which follows its doting owner everywhere has been causing a flap in Batley.
Five-week-old Clover has visited schools, pubs, parks, swimming pools and even ridden on a bus after being raised from a chick by dedicated Emma Stanworth.
The Cayuga-Aylesbury cross duckling was hatched by Emma, 21, and after a dramatic start to life is now thriving under her care.
“We’ve been incubating some eggs and we did a fertility test and found one was a twin embryo. Clover’s twin died at four days old and we didn’t think she’d survive either, her health was poor and people even told me to have her put to sleep. But I knew with patience and hope I could get her fit and healthy again,” said keen poultry keeper Emma, who works at Batley Girls’ High School.
Since Clover pulled through, the young duck has formed an attachment to Emma and moved into the Fieldhead home she shares with her parents and three younger siblings.
The pair enjoy going on adventures together and Clover is a popular sight in the community, with fans lining up to make a fuss of her wherever she goes.
“She follows me everywhere - she’s really imprinted herself on me! When we go out people love to see her and hold her - it’s amazing really, it’s not something you see every day and they really don’t expect it.”
Clover’s cult status has led to Emma even setting up a fan page on Facebook with regular ‘duckdates’ for her followers.
“I even have an American lady who asks to see pictures of her! I ask her fans to suggest where I should take her next.”
The duckling, who is a mixture of two American breeds, is currently injured, but her poorly leg hasn’t stopped her from having fun.
“She has hyper moments - they’re so funny to watch. She’ll run round in a circle and throw food about, it’s very entertaining. She even comes on the morning school run with my siblings - she’s like a dog!”
Clover’s intrepid travels have included a journey on a local bus - and luckily the driver didn’t bat an eyelid.
“He just said it wasn’t a problem. We’ve got taxis together too, and been to a pub in Drighlington.”
Another recent expedition was to Batley Sports Centre, where Clover posed for photos with both staff and customers.
“She couldn’t swim in the pool because of the chlorine, but she goes in the trout pond in Batley Park and I’m going to take her to the pond at Oakwell Hall.”
Emma says she and her unusual pet have an ‘unbreakable’ bond,
“I’m very protective of her, she’s always by my side. She’ll follow me into shops when I tell her to wait outside, and if I’m carrying something she wants she’ll jump up to try and get it!
“I love her to pieces, it’s great to see her waddling up the path on her own. I want people to be inspired by her story - humans can be friends with ducks.”
Emma is now selling Clover-themed merchandise, including postcards and keyrings, on the Facebook page Clover the Duck’s Daily Post. All proceeds will be donated to Phoenix Hen Rescue, a national charity which cares for former battery chickens.