A dog who was once best friends with a duck has once again showed love for the species by becoming a “very protective” surrogate dad to some ducklings.
German Shepherd Ben was once best buds with an adult duck, but it flew away one day.
Missing his pal, he was keen to make a good impression on the newly hatched ducklings.
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Ben, and the ducklings, bonded immediately and he loves watching over them as they sleep, eat, play or have a bath.
His owner Julie McGuire, 35, from Motueka, New Zealand, said: "He's extremely curious and wanted to know what was going on in the room we had them in.
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"He's very protective. He watches over them and makes sure the cat doesn't get too close."
The ducklings were found abandoned in a stream by local orchard workers, who waited in vain for the mother duck to return, for eight hours.”
So Julie took them in and Ben took to dad duty like a duck to water.
Ben will even bark and chase off the family cat if it gets too near to his new little fluffy family.
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Julie said: "They were found in a stream – not a moving body of water, but a more stagnant stream.
"They were spotted by orchard workers and were watched for the next eight hours, with no mum coming back."
Julie now lets the ducklings roam free on her property under the watchful eyes of Ben.
Footage of the doting dad was captured in July with the cute family bonding trips going viral.
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However, the family won’t be together too long as the ducks will eventually fly away.
Julie said: "If they decide to fly away. I'm happy with that.
"They deserve the best life and I am just happy we could help some of them survive, and Ben has had fun with them growing up."
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