Zoo Duck
Neeta Gangopadhya
age group: 
3+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Zoo naturalist migratory birds
picture book, fiction

A little duck forced to migrate owing to a drought in his land, finds himself in a zoo precincts and is thrilled, because there is water and food to be found here in plenty.
All the denizens of the zoo welcome the newcomer and on hearing his sad story, invite him to stay with them. But, the zoo-keeper is not too happy. Finding the interloper, he shoos him off. But, no sooner than the man had gone, the duck flew back, had his meal and went back to sleep. Unfortunately for him, this time a sweeper found him and he too, threw him off the premises.

A helpful otter advises him to hide when anyone approaches and so the duck hid himself in the grass at the edge of a lake. Soon, there is a commotion - a man dressed in kurta and pajama, (looking suspiciously like Dr Salim Ali, the great naturalist) appears on the scene and reprimands the zookeeper for the mal-treatment meted out to the duck, for he was not just any duck, but a Mandarin Duck, who luckily for them, had migrated all the way from Central Asia and happened to take a break in their zoo.

Note: An interesting story, of a relatively lesser known migratory bird who happened to stop on rare occasions in the Loktak Lake in Manipur, which has qualified as Ramsar site, as it hosts more than 1 lakh winter migratory birds in winter.

Reviewed by Sunanda Sharma