“He has spent time with other ducks which makes me happy, but at the end of the day he chooses me.”
Steven Thibeault runs an apartment complex in Nahant, Massachusetts, and one morning he suddenly noticed a tiny duckling alone and struggling to survive in the complex’s pool. He quickly rescued the little guy, but unfortunately was unable to reunite him with his mom. He knew the duckling wouldn’t be able to survive on his own, so he named him Cheerio and took him home to care for him.
From that moment on, Thibeault and Cheerio were best friends. Thibeault thought that he might be able to release Cheerio back into the wild someday, but so far, Cheerio has no interest in leaving his dad. Every day while Thibeault works, Cheerio goes out and flies around, swims in the ocean and hangs out with his duck friends — and then always comes back home every night.
“He is pretty much on my schedule so we come to work, he spends most of the day outside and after work we go home,” Thibeault told The Dodo. “He does have a social life, he has spent time with other ducks which makes me happy, but at the end of the day he chooses me. That could change one day but that’s up to him.”
Thibeault has always made sure that Cheerio is free to come and go as he pleases, but when it comes down to it, Cheerio just loves his dad too much to ever go too far. Everyone who lives in the apartment complex that Thibeault manages loves seeing Cheerio and feeding him treats, and he’s definitely become a bit of a local celebrity.
Cheerio has plenty of duck friends too, and his dad loves watching him swimming around and hanging out with them all, living his life to the fullest out on the water.
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“He gets along great with other ducks, especially males,” Thibeault said. “He is a little shy when it comes to the ladies at this point in his life but hopefully that will change. He also hangs out with other duck and geese species like eider ducks, mallards and brant geese who spend their winters here in Nahant. He also has a few seagull buddies too.”
Cheerio even has a cat sister named Reeses whom he loves so much, and he loves playing with Thibeault’s parents’ dog as well.
When Thibeault rescued Cheerio that day years ago, he definitely didn’t expect to make a friend for life. Cheerio loves his family so much, and while someday he could decide to live in the wild full-time, for now he’s perfectly happy playing with his friends during the day and coming home to his family at night.