A duck who thinks she is a dog is causing a stir in a seaside town by going for walks on a lead with her owner.
Essy, a Cherry Valley duck on a lead ready for a walk with two Staffordshire cross dogs Rachka, (left) and DD, in Bournemouth Photo: PA
Essy the duck wags her tail, tries to bark, and competes for treats with her canine companions – two Staffordshire cross dogs.
The nine-month-old Cherry Valley duck is often seen walking the streets of Bournemouth, Dorset.
Her owners Steph and Tony Tufft got the confused duck from a farm when she was just eight weeks old.
Tony Tufft, a boat builder, said their unusual pet has been amusing people by acting like a dog since she arrived at their home in the Charminster area of the town.
Tony, 35, said: "We are known throughout Charminster. People come out of bars to see her. They love it.
"She doesn't know she's a duck. She must think she's a dog.
"She goes up to other dogs. People can't understand it and the dogs are really confused as well.
"We even had to buy Essy her own lead, after getting strange looks from people who thought we were duck-napping."
His wife Steph, 25, added: "It's as if Brad Pitt was walking on the lead, the amount of people that come out."
The couple's real dogs, two-year-old Rashka and four-year-old DD, are very protective of Essy and walk on either side of her.
And although Essy has a bedroom of her own in the airing cupboard of the couple's home, she prefers to sleep with the dogs.
Mrs Tufft, who works as a dog groomer, said: "We take her on walks. She has a lead, a high visibility vest and a collar.
"The dogs set the pace then she catches up and walks in between them."
Essy has now got her very own pet passport, in case her owners decide to move back to Tenerife, where Mrs Tufft lived 18 months ago.