Hattiesburg Zoo receives 4 new Mandarin ducks

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 11:42 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2022 at 11:43 AM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The family of William E. “Bud” Kirkpatrick donated funds to the Hattiesburg Zoo to purchase four new Mandarin ducks, one of William’s favorite zoo animals.

For more than twenty years, Kirkpatrick served as a member of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission. During this time, he was instrumental in numerous numbers of the commission’s projects, such as the development and operation of the Hattiesburg Zoo.

According to the Zoo, one of Kirkpatrick’s loved the wildlife at the zoo, especially its two Mandarin ducks.

In recognition of Bud’s service and his fondness for the ducks, the Kirkpatrick family donated the funds for the Hattiesburg Zoo to acquire two additional pairs of Mandarin ducks.

“Bud was particularly fond of Mandarin ducks due to their beauty, grace and peaceful nature,” said Virginia Kirkpatrick, William’s wife. “He always took time to see the Zoo’s Mandarin ducks whenever he visited.”

The zoo said the Mandarin duck is a medium size duck species found in East Asia, and it is known for being monogamous and mating for life. In Asia, they are considered a powerful symbol of love.

The male Mandarin duck is said to be one of the most beautiful types of waterfowl. It has orange, green, white, blue and black feathers, which curl up into a “sail” shape.

Female Mandarin ducks can appear to be a gray version of the male, but they have a pale red bill, a stripe behind one eye and blue wing feathers.

For more than twenty years, William E. “Bud” Kirkpatrick served as a member of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission. ...

Posted by Hattiesburg Zoo on Tuesday, February 8, 2022

“We are honored that Mrs. Kirkpatrick chose to memorialize her husband in a way that could be enjoyed by the thousands of people who visit the Hattiesburg Zoo each year,” said Jeremy Cumpton, director of conservation, education and wildlife. “Mandarin ducks are beautiful with very specific coloring that makes them quite unique. They are a beautiful addition to our pond and island that is located across from the Tapir and Alpaca exhibit.

“Bud was a renowned public relations professional and community leader,” said Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission. “His knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication to Hattiesburg was a catalyst for numerous tourism projects over the years including Olympic Training in the 1990′s as well as the redevelopment of the Zoo and the preservation of Oseola McCarty’s house.”

The Zoo’s new Mandarin ducks are already paired and will join the free-ranging waterfowl found in the lake in the middle of the Zoo.

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