Coronavirus in Florida: Tampa woman self-isolating with rescue ducks


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As many of us are going “quackers” quarantined at home, Tamara Hein is passing the time with her rescue ducks Gabby and Olivia. 

“They eat, they sleep, they bathe a lot. Do they wash their hands? Yes they do,” said Hein. 

The Muscovy ducks share a Tampa townhome with Hein, her husband and their rescue pup Diogi.  

“She is very protective of them, she understands the concept of family,” Hein said. “Ducks, like people, need companionship too. So they look to me and my husband and our dog. Since I raised Gabby, for example, he thinks I am his flock.” 

Now, the waterfowl are finding joy as the D.C. native spends extra time around the house.

“During quarantine, they are watching me do a lot of housework. The laundry is caught up and the kitchen is going through a deep clean, they are fascinated by that,” said Hein. 

Hein first became a mother duck two years ago when she rescued Q Duck, a disabled duck who used a wheelchair to get around. Since his passing in late 2019, her flock and side yard have expanded. 

“I do like to let them out in the side yard during the days so they get sunshine. They can bathe in their pond or in the kiddie pool. I’ll go out and interact with them as well.”

Hein tells she along with her flock plan to self-isolate, stay home and waddle through the next coming weeks  

“For anyone sheltering in place, thank you for sheltering in place. If you have a chance to step outside, it’s beautiful. Observing nature is always good, we brought ours into the house,” said Hein.  

For more on Hein and her ducks, visit their website, Facebook or Instagram.


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