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KFC shelters duck

May 07, 2001

KFC shelters duck



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The KFC restaurant at the Centre at Hagerstown is best known for its chicken, but it's getting attention lately for its duck.

A stray duck, who has been given the name Miss Colonel, waddled up the drive-through lane about two weeks ago and settled in a bed of red mulch near an entrance.

The duck has been given the name Miss ColoneI, after KFC founder Colonel Sanders.

It's unknown why Miss Colonel decided to nest at the restaurant, but she'll be allowed to stay until her ducklings are born.

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"It's odd. It's really odd," said Doug Chapman of Chapman's Turf Pro and Lawn Service. Chapman and his son do the groundkeeping for the restaurant and discovered the nest this week.

There may be a logical explanation for Miss Colonel's nesting selection, said Liz Huntzberry, a wildlife expert.

Ducks often return to prior nesting locations. It's possible Miss Colonel returned to an old nesting site only to find rural land replaced with buildings and asphalt, Huntzberry said.

She predicts the eggs will hatch in about two weeks.

About a week ago the Chapmans noticed the duck in the mulch between the sidewalk entrance and the restaurant near the drive-through window.

Miss Colonel is no chicken, Chapman said. She stands up sometimes to defend her nest.

The Chapmans were concerned about the duck's safety. The KFC manager had no objection to the duck remaining if it was safe. He made some phone calls Thursday looking for help and was put in touch with Huntzberry.

Huntzberry provided two options: Break the eggs and move Miss Colonel or put up a fence and let the mother duck stay there until her six eggs hatch.

A few hours after the eggs hatch Huntzberry will help move the duck family to a creek by her home in Smithsburg.

Chapman asked Lowe's Improvement Warehouse if it could help with his predicament. The company donated chicken wire for the fence.

The value of the donated items was about $30, said Paula Ruth, assistant manager of the Hagerstown Lowe's store.

" 'Do you want to help?' he asked, and we said 'yes.' " Ruth said.

Ruth and Chapman chose the mother duck's name.

Chapman expects children will enjoy looking at Miss Colonel and the ducks-to-be when visiting the restaurant.

"This place will be buzzing," he said.

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