A flock of ducklings has disappeared from a Thornton garden.
The 17 ducklings were reported missing from their Hawthorne Road home this morning. A further duckling was found dead nearby.
Helen Singleton, 53, who had been looking after the ducklings with her children until they were old enough to fly, said: "We started off with 21. When we got up this morning we had three, and there was one dead on the drive.
"We have got no feathers, no blood, no sign of a struggle, so I'm ruling out foxes or cats.
"We still have 17 missing. I can't figure out how they could have got out of the garden. We have been all over the streets, asked the workmen, the postman, the neighbours, and nobody has seen anything.
"They were fine last night. We had put them to bed about 10.30pm and when I want out about 8.15am there was 17 missing."
She added that the ducklings, which are nearly five weeks old, knew how to forage, and would have a far greater chance of survival if they reached a lake or pond.
"We don't keep them as pets," she said. "The reason we do it is to make sure they have the best chance of surviving to adulthood.
"We are upset about it. At the moment we are busy looking for them rather than deciding their fate. We're hoping that they are out there somewhere and that they just got lost. I'm just hoping that somebody will contact us."
The family said the ducklings' disappearance will be reported to the RSPB. Anybody who can provide any information about the whereabouts of the birds is asked to contact Helen on 07974 360022.