Working in the Bird Department at a zoo, I often get calls to rescue wild birds that have dazed themselves flying into windows or have flown into buildings and can’t find their way out. Today, I got a call from my boss saying that a large group of wild birds got themselves into a very dangerous place. A momma Mallard duck had led her group of ducklings into the lovely water of the moat around the lion exhibit. Despite the reputation of cats hating water, one of our female lions was splashing around trying to catch the little toy ducks. Though the lion was having fun, my boss was concerned that visitors would be distressed about the poor little fuzzies that couldn’t get out of the predator’s exhibit. So, it was bird keeper to the rescue! I brought over some nets and a nice box to place the ducks in. With the lions brought back into their dens, my boss and the cat keepers helped me catch all 24 fluffy little duckies.
There are numerous places in the zoo that this mother duck could have taken her babies. In fact, she had been spotted with her unusually large group of chicks (which included some babies that had already been rescued from another dangerous spot) in several other ponds around the zoo. But she was never satisfied with those places. Unfortunately, once she took the babies into the lion moat, the only place for the babies to get out of the moat was onto the land with the lions.
There is another animal that we have at my zoo that has a reputation for leaving safety for dangerous places: sheep. I heard a shepherd say once that a sheep’s only talent is finding a hole in a fence. The Bible uses sheep to represent us and our habit of following our own paths. Isaiah 53:6 says “We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.” In this verse, “Him” refers to Jesus and the punishment He took was death for our sins. Jesus is also known as the Good Shepherd who searches for His lost sheep. We, like those baby ducks, can be rescued and set free from the jaws of the deadliest predator – sin.