Watch: Two ducks solicit help from tourist to assist their ailing friend

A tourist in the Dominican Republic was checking out a pond at a resort and noticed something “off-kilter” with the ducks.

Sarah Young, whose hobby is wildlife photography, was vacationing with her husband in Punta Cana when the strange sighting occurred involving three West Indian whistling ducks.

One duck, frozen in place, had its head in the bushes and its legs sticking out behind as the other two ducks poked at it, apparently attempting to get it to stir.

Young told USA Today/For The Win Outdoors that she got her phone out and began filming the encounter.

“I continued recording as I witnessed the heart-wrenching reaction of her two feathered companions,” she told FTW Outdoors. “Their concern and evident affection for their frozen friend painted a haunting yet beautiful tableau. I start welling up with tears as they gently nudge her until her head flopped backwards into the water.”

At that point, Young thought the duck was dead. But moments later, an amazing thing happened. The two ducks started pushing the ailing duck toward Young.

“They look at me almost pleadingly as they start nudging her lifeless body towards me,” she said. “What did they expect me to do?…As the possibilities of what I should do swirl in my head, she remained just out of reach.”

Then Young noticed small bubbles coming out of the duck’s nose.

“She’s alive and I can barely believe it,” she told FTW Outdoors. “Once I’m out of my mini state of disbelief, I set my phone down, get on my stomach, and reach under the fence to grab her. Still out of reach, her friends give one last push and I have her head in my hands.

“Grab my phone again because, let’s face it, my husband is very much a needer of proof…He’s gonna need to see for himself.”

As Young holds its head up, the duck expels the water from its nostrils and, after a few minutes, regains its equilibrium.

“With a gentle break from my touch, she musters the strength to wobbly glide away with her friends who are right there the whole time,” she said.

The next morning, Young returned to the pond and saw the three ducks sitting on an island in the pond.

“One duck jumped in the water and swam to me,” Young told FTW Outdoors. “As she swam closer, she playfully nibbled my fingers before rejoining her friends. Was she the same duck? Perhaps. Or maybe she was just looking for a snack. Who’s to say? The line between wishful thinking and reality are blurry.”

Young posted the video on Instagram where reactions were mixed.

Some people praised her efforts, others criticized her for interfering with wildlife (which, truth be told, is a valid complaint), some didn’t believe it to be true, and others speculated on what was wrong with the ailing duck.

Young let the comments slide, like water off a duck’s back.

“Isn’t it mystifying how the same event can be seen through such different lenses?” Young told FTW Outdoors. “A duck rescue turned viral sensation is transformed into a Rorschach test of humanity. Some see the flaws, the judgments, and the should-haves. Others discover the shining beacon of hope, the simple act of kindness in a world too often overshadowed by negativity.

“I choose to embrace duality. Hold on to the beauty you found amidst the doubt and criticism. Allow the story to remain a testament to the multifaceted nature of human perception. And in this quirky tale, find solace and inspiration as you navigate the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of opinions. For in the end, your intentions were pure, driven by a desire to share a moment of connection and remind us all of the beauty that awaits, even in the most unexpected places.”

Photos courtesy of Sarah Young. 

Story originally appeared on For The Win