Lewis, a Javan whistling duck and longtime resident of the zoo’s Indonesian Rain Forest, welcomed a new friend last week.
Gwen is a female Javan whistling duck from North Carolina. She came to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo so that Lewis could have a companion.
“He was medically healthy but we could tell he was lonely,” stated zoo keeper Tiffany Jones. “He spent a lot of time just sitting on his log not doing anything.”
Zoo keepers know that animal introductions can be a sensitive process and sometimes animals need time and space as they acclimate to one another. In the case of Lewis and Gwen, however, the animals bonded instantly.
Jones observed, “Lewis was asleep on his log when we brought Gwen to the pond. As soon as she got in the water he woke up, swam over and whistled to her. They have been together ever since. I don’t think he’s lonely anymore.”
The two ducks look and behave very similar, but Gwen is a bit smaller than Lewis and her coloring is more contrasted. (The feathers on her back are much darker than those on her underside.) Come out to the zoo when we reopen this Spring and see if you can spot the differences!
Zoo officials are happy to report that at the end of one week Lewis and Gwen are still getting along swimmingly.
Click on the photos to enlarge: