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Wildlife enthusiast James Cosgrove, from Canterbury, saves ugly duckling Timone

With just one eye, a wonky head and a crooked wing, Timone really is an ugly duckling.

But to his owner James Cosgrove, who raised him from a hatchling, he’s a swan.

He was among a clutch of eggs abandoned by their mother after she was scared off her riverside nest by a fox.

Timone the disabled duck
Timone the disabled duck

So wildlife enthusiast James, 23, whose rear garden in St Stephen’s Road, Canterbury, backs onto the Stour, bought an incubator to try and hatch the four eggs.

He was successful with two and named the pair of young ducklings Timone and Pumba, who are now eight weeks old.

But while Pumba is growing into a fully fit duck, Timone has not been so lucky.

While his missing eye has not proved too problematic, two vets said his deformed wing needed to be amputated – with one suggesting euthanasia as the alternative.

Wildlife enthusiast James Cosgrove with Timone
Wildlife enthusiast James Cosgrove with Timone

Luckily, furniture salesman James, who works for Lenleys, found a vet to perform the operation, and Timone is now on the mend.

James has built a large pond and hutches in his garden for the family of wild ducks who first took up residence eight years ago.

He said: “I expect Pumba will fly off some time but it looks like Timone will become a permanent member of the family.

“He’s a bit special and needs a bit more TLC because of his disabilities.

“But he enjoys the extra attention and I have even built access ramps for him to get into the pond more easily and enlarged the duck house so he’s a bit more comfortable."

James regularly takes his kayak out on the water to observe the animals and also picks up litter and rubbish.

“I love the river and the wildlife,” he said.

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