May 19, 2012

Ducklings down the drain

Earlier today, we received a call from Santa Cruz Animal Control Officer, Carlos, requesting assistance in getting a batch of ducklings from a storm drain. He'd managed to retrieve three of the babies with help from City of Watsonville Fire Department, but seven more were still in the system.

Using one of the Fire ladders, Duane descended into the storm drain and
 found six ducklings traveling under the road, headed for another drain entrance.

The firemen lifted the heavy metal grate to gain access, then lowered a long handled hoop net to block the ducklings escape.

With the net held vertically in place, Duane crawled on hands and knees, 'pushing' the ducklings along until, finally, they were inside the sock of the net.

The downy chicks were carefully lifted out and placed into an awaiting pet carrier as the mother hen watched, nervously, from a distance. One more to go!

One of the ducklings had become separated from its siblings and was headed down another channel. Again, the next nearest manhole was opened and the large net lowered to the bottom. This time, though, the duckling backtracked right into Duane's hands.

Once all of the babies were safely inside the pet carrier, Mama Duck was led to a wooded, marshy area where she was reunited with her babies.

Thanks to everyone involved! It could not have gone any better!!! Bravo!