Oldest duck in UK dies at age 22

December 31st, 2009

A duck named Edwina, believed to be the oldest recorded living duck in the United Kingdom, has died at the age of 22. The mallard was first discovered by Ian Knight and Christine Christopher in a lake near their residence in the market town of Hampshire,England. Edwina, as she was later called, had been attacked by her family and abandoned by her own mother.

Ian helped the duck to recover its health and, after a failed attempt to release the creature back into the wild, the duck was adopted as a family pet. She was originally given the male name Edward; however, when — to the shock of Christopher and Knight – it was discovered that she had the ability to lay eggs, her name was changed to Edwina.

Some of the habits of the duck included drinking tea and swimming in a sink.

The creature gained popularity upon her 22nd birthday when the British Trust for Ornithology rendered Edwina the oldest recorded mallard in the United Kingdom. The Trust said that the oldest recorded age for a creature of that type in the wild in the country was 20 years and 5 months.

Edwina died peacefully on Monday inside her pen. Ian Knight commented, “She hadn’t been well over Christmas. Her legs were a bit wobbly and we were concerned that she wasn’t her normal self. We had been planning to take her to the vet’s when we discovered that she had passed away. It might sound silly to some people but 22 years is a long time to have a pet and we are heartbroken to have lost Edwina.”

Knight also explained that “[s]he had become a bit of a celebrity and, after we appeared on television on her 22nd birthday, someone recognised me at Palma Airport in Majorca.”


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