The University of York’s most famous wildfowl, known variously as ‘Trevor’ and ‘Fit Duck’, may be depressed, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
A number of students have reported that ‘Fit Duck’, a male Ruddy Shelduck, has been acting strangely in recent weeks. Adam Clark, a Derwent student, said, “He’s been acting really weird recently. He’s always by himself and seems lonely.” A spokesman for the RPSB said, “It is possible that birds can suffer from something resembling the human emotion of depression”.
‘Fit Duck’ was one of two Ruddy Shelducks brought to the University wildlife reserve six years ago. His mating partner disappeared shortly after being released.
‘Fit Duck’ has since taken up with a Common Shelduck, known as ‘Jazzy’. Dr. Barry Thomas, a Chemisry lecturer and expert on campus wildlife said, “they’ve been trying to mate for three or four years without success and I’m not anticipating they’ll be successful this year”.