Last Fall, when a mallard duck began making frequent appearances near the marina on Lake Murray in South Carolina, it was clear that he needed help. Because the bird was missing a portion of its upper beak which made it difficult to hunt on his own, he soon became reliant on the kindness of locals who offered him food.
Still, that didn't stop him from earning their affection -- and a name: Bobo.
"He became one of the guys," says marina worker Billy McNair, to The State. "He'd fly around the point to the dock to be fed. Then he'd walk in and make himself at home. He was almost like a dog – a pet."
The duck's human friends along the waterfront all knew that his injuries would need to be addressed in order for him to have a fulfilling life, so earlier this year they staged an intervention of sorts. Last January, McNair captured Bobo and delivered him to veterinarians at the Carolina Wildlife Center.
Eventually, bird specialist Dr. Greg Burkett was called in to provide Bobo with the treatment he badly needed to fix is injured bill. After making a cast from the beak of another duck, Burkett fashioned an acrylic replacement for Bobo that will help him live a more normal life.