First of all, I live in Pennsylvania if that matters for any of the issues involved here. I know a family that found a duckling maybe a month or so ago. It was blown into their window well during a violent storm that had produced some tornadoes. It was totally alone when it was found. The people went to all of the nearby farmers and pond-owners who might have had ducks, but no one had any ducklings at the time. Not knowing what else to do, they found out as much as they could about caring for ducks and took very good care of it. Now, when I say "very good," I mean it would have been very good if the duck were to be kept permanently or if it was a puppy or kitten or a "pet." They loved it, cuddled it constantly, introduced it to their cats/dogs, in other words (unintentionally) did everything in their power to ruin it for outdoor life. As luck would have it, I found out about the duckling and was just about to start my own flock of chickies. I told them I could put in a pond, or at least keep a wading pool in the chicken run, and I could keep the duck if they needed to find a safe place for it. (By this time they're madly in love with the little duck and very afraid to let it out in the wild.) We're all afraid by this time the duck was far too used to humans to be put out in the wild. They just had to keep the duck long enough for my chickies to be able to fend for themselves against a larger duck. As I was doing research into what extra amenities I needed for the duck, I found out that it was illegal to keep a wild mallard. Although I'm sure that the people aren't too familiar with duck breeds and I haven't seen the duck myself, they swear that it definitely is a mallard. I don't know whether it might have been a "domestic" farm mallard duckling that just got blown a very long distance during the storm or if it would be wild. In any case, I don't want to keep the duck if it is illegal to have it. Although I had offered to take it and give it a good home, and now feel very bad about this, going to the expense of getting a permit for one mallard duck (if I can manage to get one - don't know how hard that would be) wasn't something that I had counted on at the time. So the question is what happens to the duckling? It was all set for a nice cozy life as a pet. If it's not legal to keep the duck, what's to be done with it? Does anyone know how you would get a permit for a mallard or how expensive it is? Can a duckling that's been cuddled and pampered all it's short life make it in the wild? They were considering releasing it in a public park where there are a ton of ducks that are used to being fed by people (coin-operated corn machines), but the ducks are in the park only seasonally. It looks like legally they're supposed to take it to a wildlife rehabilitator (if it even is a wild mallard), but how do you explain that the duck is used to humans, and cats and dogs for that matter. They can't afford a fine and certainly had no idea that they might be doing something illegal when they saved its life when it was just a couple of days old. Any suggestions are welcome. Preferrably legal ones. Thanks.