Page last updated at 13:10 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

'Oldest duck' Edwina dies aged 22

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Edwina has also been known to drink from mugs of tea

A 22-year-old tea drinking mallard, thought to be one of the oldest recorded living ducks, has died.

Edwina was rescued by Ian Knight and Christine Christopher two decades ago after she was almost pecked to death by her family.

The couple, from Ringwood, Hampshire, initially called her Edward but changed her name when she started to lay eggs.

Mr Knight said Edwina, who died on Monday, had been buried in their garden under an ornamental duck as a memorial.

Sea-duck

He said that when he first discovered Edwina she was being attacked by her family as she was the "runt of the litter".

The family rescued her, but when Mr Knight attempted to release her back into the wild she followed him home and had lived with the family ever since.

Edwina also became fond of tea and toast, which she would have for breakfast in the family home where she spent time living in the garden and garage.

Mr Knight told BBC News the family was "devastated".

"She wasn't well over Christmas because of the cold spell we have been having and her legs became a bit wobbly.

"We were going to take her to the vet after the holidays but we found her inside her little house.

Ian Knight with a young Edwina
Edwina was saved as a duckling from being killed by her family

"It was going to happen eventually but it's like losing one of your family, I have had her since she was only a few days old."

Edwina was buried in the family's garden in a box, with an ornamental duck placed on top of her final resting place as a memorial.

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) said the oldest known wild mallard in the UK is 20 years and five months.

The oldest known wigeon stands at 34 years, the oldest gadwall at 21 and the oldest teal at just over 18 years.

But the oldest wild duck on record is a sea-duck called Eider at 35 years and six months.

The birds' ages have been calculated through the BTO's ringing scheme.



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'Oldest duck' celebrates birthday
29 Jul 09 |  Hampshire

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