May 17, 2011

Rescue 90210

Last week we received a call from a gentleman in Beverly Hills who found a mother duck and ducklings enjoying his swimming pool. I was prepared to get an earful of griping about the ducks, but instead heard how he'd already built a ramp for the babies and kindly provided fresh water and food. He was concerned though -the ducklings were essentially 'stuck' in his backyard.

Relocating wildlife is prohibited - and for sound reasons. So, in these situations we are supposed to tell people to herd the family out of the yard and block them from re-entering. However, if this poses immediate danger to the ducklings or people (traffic accidents), a special permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service allows us to relocate them close by. 

So it was, Sunday morning, a team of our finest set out to rescue the duck family. Their fist task was to capture the mom. 

Catching a flighted duck is extremely difficult. Mallards have powerful wings and can fly straight up into the air. The team had to come up with a plan based on the unique situation and the hen's demeanor.

Some hens will fall for our trap... but, not this one...

The team, led by Jenni Campbell, had to come up with another strategy, and then another. Their patience and determination paid off. The mother duck was gently pressured into a closed-in area where she was netted. NOT YOUR TYPICAL MALLARD!

Placing the hen into a carrier.

The next task was to gather the 8 babies...

The ducklings were placed into a cardboard box to keep them safe and warm while in transit to their new home. They are housed separate from their mom because of the chance she might accidentally injure them during transport.

The family was immediately transported to a nearby section of the Los Angeles river system that provided ample water and plenty of foliage to hide in.

The team followed proper protocol, letting the babies out first as mom watched, then opening her cage for her to reunite with her brood.

The hen heads straight for her babies.

Here, the babies are checking out their new home while mom keeps watch (on the  Right).

Heading back to their vehicles, Jenni debriefs with Carole and Kelly, going over the rescue mission. A job well done!

Yay, LA Team!

If you're interested in being part of our Los Angeles team or volunteer rescuers, 
or if you would like to help fund this program, please email Rebecca.


ron said...

Great Job. Thanks.

Jenni said...

LA Team ROCKS! Thanks to everyone for making this such a memorable rescue!!